That be cool know what I'm sayin
"Compared to war, all other forms of human endeavor are reduced to insignificance." ----General Patton
Mark Folsom, P.E.
Consulting Mechanical Engineer
>>That be cool know what I'm sayin
>A few months ago, there was a news item about a woman who had been
>chastised by her employer for correcting a co-worker's use of "axe" for
>"ask," which is common among blacks and not among whites. I was struck by
>the venomous contempt heaped on the supposedly "ignorant" misuse of
>English practiced by many blacks. Having read the book "The Story of
>English" among others, I was under the impression that there was a
>separate dialect "Black English" which had started up on the slave ships,
>developed on the plantations and continued to evolve separately in a
>largely separate black culture within the U.S. I decided to research the
>etymology of the use of "axe" for "ask" and I was surprised at what I
>found: From its first appearance in old english, "acsen" was used
>interchangeably (by some English people) with "ascen," back in about 1000
>AD. Further "axe" was used to mean "ask" by Geoffrey Chaucer in
>"Canterbury Tales." Chaucer was not a disgraceful and ignorant
>illiterate. I think that everyone in the US needs to learn Standard
>(American) English, but there is more to the contempt shown to Black
>English than just a desire to ensure that everyone learns to communicate.
>Mark Folsom, P.E.
>Consulting Mechanical Engineer