John McWhorter - Quotes

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Texting is fingered speech. Now we can write the way we talk. ---->>>

Every third person in the world is a drama queen. And crying 'victim,' especially when you're not really a victim in any real way, feels good. It feels good to cry victim if you're not one. ---->>>

Rap and spoken word have reawakened the country to poetry in itself. Texting and Twitter encourage creative uses of casual language, in ways I have celebrated widely. But we've fallen behind on savoring the formal layer of our language.

Rap and spoken word have reawakened the country to poetry in itself. Texting and Twitter encourage creative uses of casual language, in ways I have celebrated widely. But we've fallen behind on savoring the formal layer of our language.

Loving your language means a command of its vocabulary beyond the level of the everyday.

Loving your language means a command of its vocabulary beyond the level of the everyday.

It would be good if teachers could genuinely understand that black English is not mistakes, it's just different English, and that what you want to do is add an additional dialect to black students' repertoire rather than teaching them out of what's thought of as a bad habit, like sloppy posture or chewing with your mouth open. ---->>>

Texting is very loose in its structure. No one thinks about capital letters or punctuation when one texts, but then again, do you think about those things when you talk? ---->>>

People have been warning us that language was going to the dogs ever since Latin started turning into French. Yet the dogs in question never seem to emerge yelping on the horizon. ---->>>

Ebonics - or black English, as I prefer to call it - is one of a great many dialects of English. And so English comes in a great many varieties, and black English is one of them. ---->>>

Most languages spoken by a few thousand people are so complicated they make your head swim; a Siberian yak herder's language is much more complicated than a Manhattan bond trader's. ---->>>

As far as I'm concerned, and this is a big theme of mine, I'm not interested in white people loving me. It's an unrealistic expectation. Black people don't love anybody but themselves. ---->>>

Black English is something which - it's a natural system in itself. And even though it is a dialect of English, it can be very difficult for people who don't speak it, or who haven't been raised in it, to understand when it's running by quickly, spoken in particular by young men colloquially to each other. So that really is an issue. ---->>>

People banging away on their smartphones are fluently using a code separate from the one they use in actual writing, but a code it is, to which linguists are currently devoting articles. ---->>>

People think of black English as ungrammatical, but it bears the same relationship to standard English as contemporary Hebrew does to ancient Hebrew. ---->>>

Racism is not dead. Definitely, there are these biases. ---->>>

The only way that residual racist feelings could affect legislation, in my opinion, is through a lack of priorities, from not doing things. ---->>>

'LOL' is one of several texting expressions that convey nuance in a system where you don't have the voice and face to do it the way you normally would. ---->>>

As a linguist, I see the arbitrariness of strictures editors force on me as a writer. ---->>>

As languages go, English is pretty user friendly. If you look at a tiny language spoken somewhere that most of us have never heard of, chances are it's going to be so complicated that you have a hard time imagining how people can walk around speaking it without having a stroke. ---->>>

Black English is simpler than standard English in some ways; for example, it often gets by with just 'be' and drops 'am,' 'is,' and 'are.' That's because black English arose when adult African slaves learned the language. ---->>>

The contribution of West African languages to Ebonics is absolutely infinitesimal. What it actually is is a very interesting hybrid of regional dialects of Great Britain that slaves in America were exposed to because they often worked alongside the indentured servants who spoke those dialects that we often learn about in school. ---->>>

Biography

John McWhorter profile (john-mcwhorter.jpg)
Nationality: American
Born: 1965-10-06
Birthplace:
Die:
Occupation: Writer
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John Hamilton McWhorter V (born October 6, 1965) is an American academic and linguist who is Associate Professor of English and Comparative Literature at Columbia University, where he teaches linguistics, English, American studies, comparative literature, philosophy, and music history. He is the author of a number of books on language and on race relations (wikipedia)