Wilson Gray hwgray at GMAIL.COM
Thu Aug 6 03:38:26 UTC 2009

It's amazing the way that BE, especially, and SE, or well-known
features thereof, have become the casual speech of choice among all
speakers on the tube, real and imagined alike, especially among the
lower orders.

TV drama:

Asian ("Vietnamese-American") drug-dealer, using "standard" BE with no
accent, says to white undercover cop:

"Naw, mein. You ain' got nothin' t' worr' 'bout. I got watchas all
along the route 'n' ehhwhy else." Etc.

There was a case on the The Judges in which the black person spoke
standard and the white person spoke BE! *Many* people on these shows
speak Latino-ized, Asian-ized, and whigger-ized BE. It's practically
the normal form of speech ("exaggeration for effect," as it was called
in my high-school grammar book) on such programs. The use of
Latino-ized BE by the population of East Harlem was noted with a wild
surmise, silent, upon a fire truck, in a book by a white fireman
excerpted in? / by? the NY-er back in the '60's.
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 -

More information about the Ads-l mailing list