"ain't" (mis)behavior

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Fri Jan 10 18:53:32 UTC 2014

On Jan 10, 2014, at 1:03 PM, Joel S. Berson wrote:

> Where would I find discussion of "ain't" -- its chronology of usage,
> relation to class distinctions, onset of prohibition, etc.?
> I thought I'd try Google Ngram.  It replies 'Replaced "ain't" with "
> is not " to match how we processed the books.'  Prescriptivist bastards!
> The OED is similarly silent on "ain't", unless I've missed something.
Interesting.  OED acknowledges "ain't" as a form for "isn't" and "haven't", but no separate entry as a word, and no way to check systematically on its history.  Go figure.


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

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