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By CHICAGO TRIBUNE | January 3, 1997
LOS ANGELES -- Backing a controversial speech program for black students in Oakland, Los Angeles school leaders pressed federal and state officials yesterday to provide funds needed to extend their small black English program to all 92,000 African- American students in the district.Flanked by nearly 100 black community leaders, a school board member and the superintendent of the Los Angeles Unified School District announced a proposal to expand the district's 6-year-old Language Development Program for African-American Students.
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NEWS
By John E. McIntyre and The Baltimore Sun | May 20, 2013
I saw a remark the other day that the folks at Language Log are given to peeving about peevers, and it occurred to me afresh how much misunderstanding remains among evidently educated people about what linguists are up to when they expose bogus prescriptivism and peevery. This is not to say that there have never been cranks hawking extreme views among linguists; academic fauna do not always breed true. But I have met Ben Zimmer and Mark Liberman and have corresponded with Arnold Zwicky, all of whom are fine fellows who would never pull a chair from under you or water the liquor.
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NEWS
By JAMES E. SHAW | January 5, 1997
AFTER YEARS of struggling with black student underachievement, the Oakland, Calif., school board has just confessed to an "F" grade for its efforts and declared that it wants to attack the twin ills of illiteracy and verbal incompetence in English, epidemic among its black student population, by classifying "black English," or "Ebonics," as a second language of instruction. This we-can't-teach-'em-so-we-be-joinin'-'em surrender was the school board's first step in an attempt to qualify Ebonics for the same federal funds that fortify other bilingual education programs.
NEWS
By JAMES E. SHAW | January 5, 1997
AFTER YEARS of struggling with black student underachievement, the Oakland, Calif., school board has just confessed to an "F" grade for its efforts and declared that it wants to attack the twin ills of illiteracy and verbal incompetence in English, epidemic among its black student population, by classifying "black English," or "Ebonics," as a second language of instruction. This we-can't-teach-'em-so-we-be-joinin'-'em surrender was the school board's first step in an attempt to qualify Ebonics for the same federal funds that fortify other bilingual education programs.
NEWS
By John E. McIntyre and The Baltimore Sun | May 20, 2013
I saw a remark the other day that the folks at Language Log are given to peeving about peevers, and it occurred to me afresh how much misunderstanding remains among evidently educated people about what linguists are up to when they expose bogus prescriptivism and peevery. This is not to say that there have never been cranks hawking extreme views among linguists; academic fauna do not always breed true. But I have met Ben Zimmer and Mark Liberman and have corresponded with Arnold Zwicky, all of whom are fine fellows who would never pull a chair from under you or water the liquor.
NEWS
By OLIVIA ABRAHAM | October 6, 1994
Philadelphia. -- The assumption was, and still is made by many educators, that African-Americans could not acquire standard English-language skills. It was advisable to leave black children alone and let them keep their language.I saw this then, and still see it today as self-serving to the mainstream. Self-serving as an attempt to assuage their guilt for the destruction of the black race in this country, which began with slavery.By others, I see it as an attempt to sabotage the efforts of the black community to succeed in society by encouraging a language that impedes assimilation.
NEWS
December 30, 1996
IT IS ACCEPTED that many African Americans can speak both standard English and black English, which takes additional liberties and shortcuts with grammar and syntax. Some associate black English with illiteracy, but many well-educated African Americans use it when among friends and relatives who find the vernacular most familiar.The roots of black English are not certain. The frequent dropping of consonants may be traced to West Africa, where the slave trade flourished. Or the pattern of speech could have more to do with the poor education of rural Southern blacks who brought their customs, cuisine and way of speaking with them as they migrated north and west in the 1920s and '30s.
NEWS
By RON EMMONS | January 5, 1997
LIKE THOUSANDS of middle-class and middle-class-aspiring African-Americans, I was taught throughout childhood to loathe black English. I was taught it was a lazy tongue, used by people too "low-class" to learn the proper way to speak: Speaking black English would lower me in the eyes of society, and would deprive me of ever getting a good education or a good job.But in the hallways and on the basketball court of my Chicago high school or with my Mississippi-born grandparents,...
NEWS
By Harold Jackson | December 28, 1996
WHY YOU BE all stupid? In the vernacular, that is the general reaction that the Oakland, Calif., school board has received since declaring that its African-American students speak a second language dubbed ''Ebonics.''As well intended as the school board may have been, it made a mistake. Still, the vehemence of the response to it, in particular from African Americans typically characterized as liberals, has been somewhat surprising.The strong reactions are mostly the result of the board's having purposely left vague exactly what its recognition of Ebonics means.
NEWS
By DAN BERGER | December 27, 1996
Uncle Sam won't let market forces alone. Now he is forbidding bonuses to physicians for letting patients die.One question is whether the governor has authority to order bargaining if the legislature doesn't. Quite another is whether private citizens may stop him if legislators won't.Milosevic is a Titoist on economics, a Stalinist on nationalism and a Dengist on crowd control.''Ebonics'' is not a word in Black English.Pub Date: 12/27/96
NEWS
By CHICAGO TRIBUNE | January 3, 1997
LOS ANGELES -- Backing a controversial speech program for black students in Oakland, Los Angeles school leaders pressed federal and state officials yesterday to provide funds needed to extend their small black English program to all 92,000 African- American students in the district.Flanked by nearly 100 black community leaders, a school board member and the superintendent of the Los Angeles Unified School District announced a proposal to expand the district's 6-year-old Language Development Program for African-American Students.
NEWS
December 30, 1996
IT IS ACCEPTED that many African Americans can speak both standard English and black English, which takes additional liberties and shortcuts with grammar and syntax. Some associate black English with illiteracy, but many well-educated African Americans use it when among friends and relatives who find the vernacular most familiar.The roots of black English are not certain. The frequent dropping of consonants may be traced to West Africa, where the slave trade flourished. Or the pattern of speech could have more to do with the poor education of rural Southern blacks who brought their customs, cuisine and way of speaking with them as they migrated north and west in the 1920s and '30s.
NEWS
By OLIVIA ABRAHAM | October 6, 1994
Philadelphia. -- The assumption was, and still is made by many educators, that African-Americans could not acquire standard English-language skills. It was advisable to leave black children alone and let them keep their language.I saw this then, and still see it today as self-serving to the mainstream. Self-serving as an attempt to assuage their guilt for the destruction of the black race in this country, which began with slavery.By others, I see it as an attempt to sabotage the efforts of the black community to succeed in society by encouraging a language that impedes assimilation.
NEWS
January 16, 1997
Television can teach children dangers of drugsIt is widely recognized that the television medium has an awesome influence on the juvenile mind. Much is spoken about various means of identifying programs which contain undesirable displays of violence, sex, crime, drugs, etc.Surprisingly, however, this great influencing power has not been utilized in the losing battle against the growing usage of drugs among grade school children. Statistics show that drug usage is rapidly spreading in the 6-to-12 age bracket.
NEWS
By Daniel Berger | January 4, 1997
BLACK ENGLISH is as good a language, with its own rules and eloquence, as any, a distinguished professor of English was telling me a decade ago.It was hard to dissent. The man, white himself, spoke stage American English with exaggerated diction to perfection.No doubt, I replied. But could a bright, motivated youth speaking this tongue win admission to your college? His bell-clear elocution dissolved into mumble and cough.In discovering Ebonics, the Oakland, Calif., school board is on solid ground, or at least sharing it with contemporary philologists, linguists, lexicographers and the like -- all who try to ascertain what the language is rather than what it ought to be; and who, following Noah Webster and H.L. Mencken, applaud the differences.
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