Someone asked me about AAVE and whether it’s unreasonable to have an expectation that we use “standard American English” in professional settings.

Short thread.

Please do not search for the original convo to pile on the person who asked, who I believe was a in good faith.
You can scan this article to see a list of English language dialects.
I’ve known Irish people that I cannot understand a word they are saying when they speak rapidly to each other. 2/…
And when I’ve worked with people with dialects very different from mine, we’ve all modulated our own to be mutually understood. This is fine.
I’ve worked for international companies that do internal business in English. It’s understood not everyone’s English will be the same. We work to make it easy for others to understand us.
The US contains multiple dialects. Some regional ones are shown here. 5/
I personally have worked in Phoenix, Buffalo, Boston, Houston, and New Orleans. Admittedly I didn’t really notice much of a “Phoenix” dialect but each other place has some strong local dialects. 6/
In each place, business was carried out both in the local dialect and in “standard American English” with no one implying to anyone that the local dialect was inappropriate.

Anecdotal, but with a fair amount of experience, AAVE (some version of which is a local dialect anywhere there is a reasonably substantial Black American population) is particularly singled out as inappropriate for business settings.
Just an observation.
Two linguists, @magi_jay and @jinriora have replied to confirm that my anecdotal observations align with linguistics research.

I recommend both and not just for their linguistics expertise!

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More from @eminently_me5

27 May
On the right wing take on Black families and welfare being destructive.

They draw this conclusion by pointing out the coincidence in timing with Johnson‘s War on Poverty and increased single parent Black households.

Their argument is simple: welfare rewards single parents households.

To make this argument, they omit several other big sociological changes that occurred simultaneously, and basic logic. 2/
First the logic:
To say that someone is in a single parent household to get welfare benefits implies that person is a rational economic actor working in a system in which they get more benefit from being a single parent than from being in a dual parent situation. 3/
Read 16 tweets
26 May
On the lab leak thing: it’s an unknown. Maybe one day it will be a known. But I don’t understand why it’s politicized among normal people.
I know that the Trumpers want it to be a sinister conspiracy involving Fauci, Bill Gates, probably Hunter Biden, (((rootless cosmopolitan globalists))), the deep state, and the communists. 2/
But it does seem like some people don’t want it to be a lab leak because they don’t want to give the conspiracy theorists the meat. So they become adamant anti-lab-leakers. 3/
Read 9 tweets
22 May
Israel is a state: “Israel has a right to defend itself”

Palestinians don’t have a state so, they don’t?

We should stop thinking of violence as morally different if it’s from a state or a not-state.


Going to add: I feel the same about US foreign policy and attacks on the US by non-state actors, and a wide array of analogous examples.

Particularly “America, Africa, etc don’t have states recognized by European countries so colonize away!” 2/
This is an ancient lie to justify what amounts to terrorism without putting the name on it.
Read 4 tweets
20 May
A man who feels compelled to jump into Dylan Farrow’s mentions with Woody Allen’s “side” is a man who does not know the most common boundaries of decency which might be part of why he feels committed to Woody Allen’s “side” in the first place.
why would you need to jump into her mentions about it? *even* *if* her memory is faulty (which I am not asserting as anything but a hypothetical) you getting in her face is not going to benefit anyone but is going to upset her (if she noticed). 1/
*if* this were a case of a faulty memory, you being an ass in her twitter mentions is not going to have an impact of clearing up what would be, in that hypothetical case, a complex and still delicate psychological issue. 2/
Read 6 tweets
19 May
I feel like it should be axiomatic that ruthless power is never in favor or the marginalized.

I don’t understand thinking otherwise.
Possible corollary: people who think ruthless power would be in favor of the marginalized are people who expect to be in the hegemony of that ruthless power and think they would be more beneficent power-mongers.
But power-mongering by definition marginalizes those without power, does it not?
Read 13 tweets
19 May
One more try:
the US has a structure that pushes dichotomy. If we had a multiparty structure we might not be where we are. But we don’t, so here we are.
My premise - which you may or may not agree with, but in that’s a *separate* discussion - is that one of the two dichotomous powers has given up any and all boundaries in its quest for power. 2/
They have gotten to a degree in which they will use any means they can to keep people from voting, if they think those people will vote against them.
And to a degree that they will actively and openly oust members that oppose their naked zero-sum, zero-rules approach. 3/
Read 16 tweets

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