My Blog List

People I Know

Eclectic Folks

Media Blogs

Politics, Policy Blogs

Page Rank

Check Page Rank of your Web site pages instantly:

This page rank checking tool is powered by Page Rank Checker service

Thursday, February 01, 2007

I Talk Well English

Here's something that I've long found peculiar: people saying to me, to my face, "You don't sound black." I know this is going on even when they don't actually voice it. I've talked to folks on the phone, usually for work, and then they meet me and they have that "You're not at ALL what I expected you to look like" look on their faces. It's quite entertaining, actually. And I get it from black people as well as with white people, except it's tinged with, "Oh, you're a BROTHER" vibe; I'm, to their surprise, part of the fraternity.

First time someone said I didn't "sound black", I was deeply offended. OK, first several times. Then I started intellectualizing:
PERSON: You don't sound black.
ME: Oh, but since I AM black, and this is how I sound, I must sound black.
That always confused them.

Now, I just don't care. The joy of being of a certain age is that stuff which used to hurt now are just funny. Anyway, I blame my father, who was no friend of what later became known as Ebonics. I talk as I talk, and, in the words of Walter Cronkite, "That's the way it is."
Your Linguistic Profile::
55% General American English
35% Yankee
5% Upper Midwestern
0% Dixie
0% Midwestern

Here's one of those statistical errors that madden. In reporting on the possible Rudy Guiliani campaign for President this weekend, ABC News' Geoff Morrell noted that Guiliani was in a "virtual dead heat" with Hillary Clinton (Clinton led 49-47), but that he "beats" Barack Obama, 47-45. Since the margin of error of the survey was plus or minus three points, that race is in a statistical dead heat as well.
"She tried to warn us: With the publication of Shrub in early 2000, syndicated columnist Molly Ivins detailed George W. Bush’s privileged rise and disastrous reign as governor of Texas in the mid- to late ‘90s." That's a great line from the Amazon review of Ms. Ivins' follow-up book, Bushwhacked. Unfortunately, Molly Ivins died yesterday of breast cancer at the age of 62.


Greg said...

Wait a minute - you're black? Like Stephen Colbert, I don't see color.

I'm sure you caught Joe Biden speaking about Barack Obama yesterday. People got in a fit over Biden calling Obama "clean." I was more offended by the word "articulate." That's white people code for "a black person who doesn't sound black." I can't remember anyone calling a white person "articulate."

Chris Black said...

Roger, I live in an area that is about 99 percent white. You are probably the best black acquaintance/ friend I have!

And If I heard you speak, I'm sure I'd think that you sounded "American".