Heard on Springer: old-school BE; BE "BIN"

Wilson Gray hwgray at GMAIL.COM
Fri Aug 13 21:14:22 UTC 2010

Twenty-ish black male speaker:

"Whils' dey was fightin' ova me, I _sot_ an' watch'.

The first time that I've ever heard the, IMO till now,
semi-mythological verb-form.

Unfortunately, there was no clue, beyond "the country" (rural South)
as to where this speaker was from.

Late-thirty-ish black male speaker:

"I BIN _told_ you! I been _told_ you since Christmas!"

I didn't know that this syntactic structure, WRT to tense, existed,
till I heard John's paper on it at the first NWAV. Had I only read his
paper somewhere, so that I couldn't see that its author was black, I
would have dismissed it as nothing other than more "White Mischief,"
to quote the title of an old movie. Ain't *nobody* be saying nothing
like that!

"In *my* grammar," to coin a phrase, it ain't nothing possible b'sep':

"I BIN _telling_ you! I been _telling_ since Christmas!"
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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