Let It Be

A question was asked in a FB group of which I’m a member. Among other things, it was “What do you think of AAVE?”
AAVE stands for African American Vernacular English. African-American Vernacular English, also referred to as Black English, Black English Vernacular, or occasionally Ebonics, is the variety of English natively spoken, particularly in urban communities, by most working- and middle-class African Americans and some Black Canadians. 

It reminded me of a story, and I love to tell stories, so buckle up. 🙂
I used to meet a young man at the library for tutoring a couple of times per week. One day, a goth girl walked in, and he said something about her being scary. I asked him why he said that, and he said, “why does she want to look like a zombie?”
I said, “Let me ask you something. You are an intelligent, articulate young man. But when I overhear you speaking with your friends, your language changes.”
He chuckled, “Yeah.”
I asked him why that was. He explained that it was a way of being a part of a group with which he was comfortable.
So I pointed out that the girl was now sitting at a table with other people in Goth attire.
His eyes really brightened, and he said, “oh! That makes sense! I never thought about it that way!” (This is one of my favorite teacher stories to tell).
The unfortunate part is that these things that make us feel like part of a group can alienate us from other groups. I remember being mocked in middle school because I used good grammar. People I love will mock the way a person speaks if they deem it “stupid.”
It’s really occurred to me, this morning, that the world would be a much better place if we could just let people be who they are. There are so many minor details that we get truly disturbed by, and why?
My mom pronounces the word “almond” as if it were “salmon.” I pronounce it correctly. 😉 But I would never consider letting that small detail come between us. So why is “aks” so offensive to some?
Ok, lecture over. Have a good day.

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June 20, 2022

There is a person that I became friends with over hockey. We talked on Twitter. Her spelling was always just weird and not good. I don’t know how to explain it. Some people would give her a hard time over it because there are assumptions made based on that. She told me that she just prefers to write words out in the way that she says them. So that when you read them, you are kind of reading them with her accent and her voice. She knew it made people think she was dumb, she knew people judged her on it, she knew it drove some people crazy but she didn’t care. That was just what she wanted to do.

It didn’t take long to get used to it.

Then it got to where when I saw people making jokes about it, I would get angry and tell people off. And then she’d be like, “You don’t have to do that. It doesn’t bother me, it shouldn’t bother you.”

Now, I will say I am happy that not everyone writes in her style, where their spelling is unique to them and only them. But it was whatever, ya know?

This is all stuff that I try to not worry about. I usually think is this worth the energy to be concerned about? The answer is nearly always no.

June 22, 2022

@heffay There was a lady I tried to be friends with whose spelling and grammar were atrocious.  I threatened to kick people out of the group for making fun of her.  Unfortunately, she was a militant Trump supporter, and I just couldn’t.