[Ads-l] Non-standard (was Heard: “Everybody knew…”

James A. Landau JJJRLandau at NETSCAPE.COM
Sun Sep 17 11:36:46 UTC 2017

On Sat, 16 Sep 2017 05:13:09 Zone - 0400  Wilson Gray <hwgray at GMAIL.COM> wrote:

>“Everybody knew what was an ad”
>is a structure cited by Labov, back in the day, as a peculiarity of the
>non-standard Negro vernacular, as opposed to the formerly-standard
>“Everybody knew what an ad was.”

I object to your use of "non-standard".

I hold that, grammatically, English consists of three dialects:
  1) Patrician or Literary.  This is the one list-members here use.  It is similar to but differs in some details from the "prescriptive" English that list-members like to talk about.
  3) Plebeian (thank you to list-members who pointed out that I did not know how to spell this name---this time I checked a dictionary).  Nobody don't know what this dialect is.
  3) King James

"Negro vernacular" or "AAVE" or whatever you want to call it is simply a subset of Plebeian.  It is hardly "non-standard".   I am far from an expert on AAVE but to my ears AAVE has a standard about as well established as the standard for Patrician. 

   - Jim Landau

PS: A possible candidate for Fred Shapiro's comic-strip database, from Pogo (it appears in the collection _Instant Pogo_ which unfortunately I cannot locate my copy of at the moment:
   Magician 1:  Who was that lady I sawed with you last night?
   Magician 2:  That was no lady.  That was my half-sister!

Netscape.  Just the Net You Need.

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

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