Offensive vernacular?

Joseph Nardoni JNardoni at AOL.COM
Thu Feb 12 03:12:59 UTC 2004

Hi, a colleague of mine is taking some heat for sending the following email
message.  I will give a brief situation. He missed class one day, and forgot to
tell the secretary he would be out, so she couldn't tell his students who
came looking for him.  She sent him an email request to remember next time.  This
is what he wrote:

Shucks, Joyce, (not her real name), ya know, ah plumb forgot.  Mah Dean
alreddy new it, 'n ah told mah classes on Frahday ah wuddn't be their.  Guess some
folks wuz out thet day.  Ah'll dismember it neckst tahme.

Some people at my college are claiming this language is a clear attempt to
use a vernacular that "has been ascribed derisively, to people of color."

While I'm not a linguist, it seems to me that this sounds more like the
dialect of a southern white hillbilly, or even a parody of one, ala Li'l Abner.

What I am asking for is your considered opinions as to what dialectal
influences you see in this language, and any information you have that would suggest
this kind of language has been ascribed in derision towards people of color.


Joseph Nardoni

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