Heard on The Judges: BE "distributive _be_"

Wilson Gray hwgray at GMAIL.COM
Tue Dec 23 14:25:18 UTC 2008

Thirty-ish, black  female speaker:

Whenever she start arguing, it usually _be's_ at her house.

"Be's," though perceived as stereotypical, is actually rare enough to
be worthy of note. Among midle-class BE speakers, "be's" is used in
hyperblackenized joking speech, e.g., "Thangs be's that way." The real
aphorism is, "Thangs be that way."

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.
-Mark Twain

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

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