Date: Tue, 28 Oct 1997 11:35:05 EDT
From: Larry Horn LHORN[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]YALEVM.CIS.YALE.EDU
Subject: "my bad"
A new topic: I just got a call from Bob Greene of the Chicago Sun-Times. He's
trying to pin down the origin of the above, and all I was able to tell him was
that I've heard a sportscaster on ESPN's SportsCenter (a nightly highlight
show) use it in commenting on a fumble, an error, a missed easy shot, or the
like. The sense there is something like "my fault". I have the impression
it originates in B.E.V. or AAVE, but that's just an impression, and Greene
commented that he was struck by an experience of bumping into someone--a
middle-aged, middle-class white man--in the Atlanta airport and having that
fellow apologize by saying not "Excuse me" or "Sorry" but, yes, "My bad".
No irony here of the sort I detect with the sportscaster. So am I wrong about
the AAVE impression? Or did it start in that dialect group and spread at least
in Atlanta (or more generally in the Southeast)? I've certainly never come
across it in daily life myself, and unfortunately it seems to be impossible
to search Nexis without being overwhelmed by irrelevant cites of [my [bad N]],
where N = luck, tooth, judgment,....