Heard on The Judges II

Wilson Gray hwgray at GMAIL.COM
Tue Mar 25 15:16:34 UTC 2008

You're quite right. I should have added "... or Southern," since I
know from personal observation that Northeners tend to make mock of
Southerners, irregardless of race. I remember an occasion upon which a
fellow hamburger in Baumholder, Germany, sneered at my ace-boon and
me, "Y'all mus' be fum d' Souf! *I'm* fum Brooklun!," as though that
somehow made him superior to us. He had erroneously assumed that my
buddy and I were afraid to go into Diehl's Piano Bar, the largest
cheeseburger bar and, therefore, the very largest in town, though we'd
been in there a zillion times and were bored with the place .Bugs says
it best: "What a maroon!"

I think that I'll go even farther - not "further,' dammit! - OT and
tell the whole story, it being a trifle relevant, WRT Obama's pastor's

After sneering at us for being too cowardly to go into a cheeseburger
bar, he went on to tell us that not only would he go into Diehl's, if
he felt like it, but he also bragged that his "girlfriend" was a
b-girl, there. In other words, this loser was so filled with
self-hatred that he felt that a b-girl from a cheeseburger bar was
intrinsically superior to a b-girl from a hamburger bar simply because
she whored for white troops only, except, supposedly, for him <har!
har!>. (I'm sure that the bruthuh must have been quite wealthy, since
he obviously owned the Brooklyn bridge.)

IAC, sometimes, the weight of being ALWAYS at the bottom of the social
ladder, irrespective of how and when other peoples, even other black
peoples (have any of you ever noticed the articles about Colin Powell
that make a point of noting that he's of West-Indian ancestry, hence
not really just a plain, old, stereotypical, lazy, ignorant American
nigger? I have), have come to this country, just causes a brother to
freak out and tell it like it T-I-'tis to be down so low that down
looks like up to you, to have been down ever since you learned to
crawl, and other relevant blues lines. Needless to say, white people
have a problem getting next to outbursts of this type, because they
simply have NO idea. For a black person to hear a white person say,
"We started out with nothing, too!," it is to laugh.




On Tue, Mar 25, 2008 at 9:55 AM, David Bowie <db.list at pmpkn.net> wrote:
> ---------------------- Information from the mail header -----------------------
>  Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
>  Poster:       David Bowie <db.list at PMPKN.NET>
>  Subject:      Re: Heard on The Judges II
>  -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
>  From:    Wilson Gray <hwgray at GMAIL.COM>
>  > A mid-twenty-ish black woman, reads an excerpt from a letter written
>  > to her by a former friend. The friend, as quoted, twice uses "y'all."
>  > I find this surprising. I use "y'all" in speech all the time, when
>  > speaking to other black people, but I use it in writing only whin I be
>  > funnin' wit chawl. I don't use "y'all" even when writing to members of
>  > my family and I don't even feel comfortable using "you-all" in
>  > correspondence, except as a joke.
>  > I guess that young folk aren't as tense about sounding cullud as us
>  > older heads.
>  Well, i'm white, but FWIW i use y'all pretty freely, including in
>  relatively formal (written or spoken) settings--though there it may be
>  somewhat performative rather than truly natural.
>  (Lower-case "i" in writing, though, that's just among friends.)
>  When i was teaching out in Utah, students would occasionally giggle when
>  i'd pull out a y'all or a double modal in the classroom, so i'd have to
>  explain to them that there's some parts of growing up working-class and
>  (barely, i suppose) Southern that i'm not about to give up, no matter
>  how long i've been in school.
>  --
>  David Bowie                               University of Central Florida
>      Jeanne's Two Laws of Chocolate: If there is no chocolate in the
>      house, there is too little; some must be purchased. If there is
>      chocolate in the house, there is too much; it must be consumed.
>  ------------------------------------------------------------
>  The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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

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