Friday, March 11, 2005

The kids are alright

Finally, someone on a Board of Education had the gumption to say what we all know to be true: slang doesn't hurt.

Dr. Debra Robinson wanted to get people talking, and did she ever.
Robinson, a former Flint resident who is a school board member in Palm Beach County, Fla., has garnered a lot of attention with her suggestion that teenagers be allowed to continue to embrace street slang without being judged poorly by their elders or harangued to learn "standard English."

"There's nothing wrong with the way they're speaking," Robinson said. "Some of the best words I've gotten, I've gotten from teenagers. If you walk up to kids and say 'Speak the way I speak. This is the right way,' then, especially young people, they will rebel."


To paraphrase the movie Patton, a woman this eloquent deserves support.

There are people out there, of course, who just don't get language and insist that recognising that people don't all speak the same way might be the beginning of the end.

"That just smacks of finding an excuse for something that doesn't need to be defended. Learning (standard English) isn't a cop-out. ... it's just part of being an educated person, an avenue to self discovery."

One letter writer said Robinson's idea "is just another crude attempt to cover up the plague of Ebonics that has developed in poor communities across America."


A plague? Get a grip. Ebonics has been around for 100's of years.

1 comment:

g said...

oh my god you started a blog.

in other news, have i told you lately that you're my hero? and i'm really sorry if a horrible song is now gnawing away at your cerebral cortex. haha!

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