Heard on The Judges: sE > to BE

Wilson Gray hwgray at GMAIL.COM
Tue Apr 8 14:03:46 UTC 2008

Some may recall that I once claimed that, regardless of a speaker's
usual register, he tends to move it toward the working-class norm,
when using slang or slang-like expressions.

Middle-class, black, male speaker complaining about his cheating wife:

She was unbelievable, your honor! She _wadn_ cool at at all. She would
call me at work to find out when I was coming home, so that she would
know how much time she had to do her _thing [TaeIN]_!"

All say, "How hard it is that we have to die"---a strange complaint to
come from the mouths of people who have had to live.
 -Sam'l Clemens

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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