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."
WeWantPlates is a subreddit featuring weird plates, plates made of weird materials, and food served on things which are not even plates. The interplay between amused detachment and seething contempt is a microcosm of something much larger.
Brexit is not the cause of Britain’s renewed interest in its weird folk heritage, in the joys of cults and pagan sex. But the sudden veering into that world’s darker side, where violence and groupthink and human sacrifice rule, seems guided by its anguish and sickly glee. Here’s Michael Newton on the new flowering of […]
Liam Williams was given money by the BBC to explain the success and culture of YouTube vloggers. A search for the next megastar vlogger finds an unlikely victor in struggling comedian, Liam, who must undertake a series of challenges in order to win a £10,000 prize. Along the way, several successful YouTubers give him help […]
Learning a new language will give your resume an upgrade, sure, but it will also provide a huge cognitive boost for mental tasks outside of translation and conversation. Bilingual brains have been shown to be better at handling multiple concurrent tasks, and gaining fluency in a new tongue is an amazing way to improve memory, […]
If you struggle to get a good night’s rest, consider replacing your pillows before dropping hundreds on a new mattress. You can give your tired neck a break with a 2-pack of memory foam pillows, available now in the Boing Boing Store.Each of these pillows is stuffed with cooling polyurethane foam that molds to your […]
Although flagship smartphones are unlikely to adopt heavy-duty outer casing anytime soon, you can always prepare your device for the outdoors with a beefy case and and an external battery like this Nomad Tile Trackable PowerPack, available in the Boing Boing Store for $119.95.The Nomad Tile can fully recharge an iPhone 7 over three times […]