The US Department of Justice is looking to hire (and I quote), Ebonics experts, to help monitor, translate, and transcribe the secretly recorded conversations of persons who are the subject of narcotics investigations. The Smoking Gun has details, and scans of the original documents (a detail is shown above).
Understandably, there is much outrage over the use of the word "Ebonics" in the ad. The term became a flashpoint for racially-charged ridicule a little over a decade ago: the Oakland, CA, school board caused national uproar when it proposed teaching some students in Ebonics.
Here's an interesting quote from Linguistic Society of America member John Braugh, from an ABC News article. He believes the choice to use the word "Ebonics" may have been ill-advised, but that African-American English has an important place in American cultural history:
While African-American English may seem like a uneducated form of traditional English to some, Baugh said it has roots in the slave trade, when Africans with no access to education were forced to find a shared language. Slave-traders, he explained, would often separate groups of slaves who spoke the same dialect, leaving the men and women with no way to verbally communicate. So they learned a rough version of standard English together, without the help of formal education or literacy skills.
[via BB Submitterator, thanks Inconsequentiallogic]
"To say that it's a bastardization is cruel," he said. "The reality is that the linguistic consequences of slavery are greatly misunderstood."
Forthcoming game No Mans Sky promises players the experience of exploring a nigh-infinite universe of beautiful, dreamlike worlds. But its fans are far from serene. When a journalist reported a development delay, he was sent death threats–a black hole of rage that expanded to the game’s creators when they confirmed the news.
The Guardian featured essays by UK punks who made the scene when it first emerged in the late 1970s. Above, Terry Chimes, 59, original drummer for The Clash, now a chiropractor. “I just wanted to be in a band, and this was the most exciting band I could find,” he writes. “Everyone else in The […]
Read Elspeth Reeve’s fabulous article about Pizza, one of the most popular Tumblogs, the “secret lives” of Tumblr Teens, and mistakes made. It has everything. The wonderful creativity of the users; its incomprehensible architecture; the emergent support mechanisms; the toxic call-out culture; and everything ultimately, inevitably being ruined after Yahoo buys it. Then it happened. […]
Having to pack and drag your stuff through security can put quite the damper on your vacation plans. Thankfully, we’ve got your back with one way to make traveling more painless: the Jumper Overnighter Travel Bag.This compact bag is so lightweight that you can effortlessly carry it, and fit it into any overhead compartment. But just […]
Learning is a 24/7/365 proposition, and it never ends. And if you’re truly serious about leveling up your skill sets and career prospects, get a subscription to Stone River Academy’s massive course collection. This offer normally is worth over $1,400, but is now available for just $89 in the Boing Boing Store.A respected name in information technology […]
Home audio has taken some big leaps forward in recent years–not just in terms of sound quality, but also in the style department. The FRESHeBAR Leather Soundbar, now 56% off in the Boing Boing Store, is proof.The FRESHeBAR comes packing almost all the options you’d ever need for a home sound system, including Bluetooth streaming capabilities.The unit’s 90 […]