The worst of all possible things that could happen would be to lose that language [that black people love so much]. There are certain things I cannot say without recourse to my language. It’s terrible to think that a child with five different present tenses comes to school to be faced with those books that are less than his own language. And then to be told things about his language, which is him, that are sometimes permanently damaging… This is a really cruel fallout of racism. I know the Standard English. I want to use it to help restore the other language, the lingua franca.
1. He ø runnin. Standard American English (SAE )= He is running.
2. He be runnin. SAE = He is usually running or He will/would be running.
3. He be steady runnin. SAE = He is usually running in an intensive, sustained manner, or He will/would be running in an intensive, sustained manner.
4. He(’s) been/bin runnin. SAE He has been running–at some earlier point, but probably not now.
Other examples: I been knowing her. SAE = I have known her.
About eleven o’clock he been eating. SAE = … he was eating.
5. He BEEN/BIN runnin’. SAE = He has been running for a long time, and still is.
-This is a use of the African American English (AAE) stressed been/remote BIN.
My mother Toni Morrison on AAVE (via howtobeterrell)
this is for whoever was telling me that AAVE isn’t a real thing… UGH
Note how precise each AAVE phrase is.
Cries from perfection
For anyone who thinks aave is just slang.
The folks who think it is mush mash dinnae get the truth of it.
All of us are now ‘no-longers’ while the excited mind of Richard Kliman believes that his heart, his knees, his cerebrum, his prostate, his bladder sphincter, his everything is indestructible and that he, and he alone, is not in the hands of his cells. Believing this is no soaring achievement for those who are twenty-eight, certainly not if they know themselves to be beckoned by greatness. They are not ‘no-longers,’ losing faculties, losing control, shamefully dispossessed from themselves, marked by deprivation and experiencing the organic rebellion staged by the body against the elderly; they are the ‘not-yets,’ with no idea how quickly things turn out another way.
—Exit Ghost, Philip Roth
Of course. Getting laid itself. And having now made a girl laugh, was it wholly unreasonable to imagine he might have improved his chances in the area of getting laid itself? Wasn’t getting laid itself a thing almost everyone deserved? Wasn’t it what made the world go around? Even for a funny little polio victim whose arms and legs didn’t really amount to arms and legs at all, and whose wife had been fucked out of her mind by a Frenchman for a year and a half?
But every night, as he struggled out of his Brooks Brothers clothes - oh, yes, and fuck you too, Brooks Brothers, with the terribly tactful bastards in your fitting room (‘I expect you’ll want it taken in quite a bit here, sir, am I right? And the trousers taken in quite a bit here? Am I right? And here?’) - every night, as Jack Draper crawled wretchedly naked into his marriage bed, he knew his wife would not join him there. He even knew, with a cripple’s resignation and a drunkard’s terrible calm, that she would probably never join him there again.
—A Good School, Richard Yates
Zadie Smith offers an ode to bibliomania, a happy disorder nicely accommodated by this forgiving time of year.
"Pathological reader syndrome"
As many as 15 percent of freshmen at America’s top schools are white students who failed to meet their university’s minimum standards for admission, according to Peter Schmidt, deputy editor of the Chronicle of Higher Education. These kids are “people with a long-standing relationship with the university,” or in other words, the children of faculty, wealthy alumni and politicians.
According to Schmidt, these unqualified but privileged kids are nearly twice as common on top campuses as Black and Latino students who had benefited from affirmative action.
This is EXTREMELY blatant on college campuses. The fact that these things need to be clarified is sad.
Legacy is the real affirmative action…and yet we don’t see certain types of entitled people suing to dismantle that.