Modern English

DIALECT[n]: A regional or social variety of a language distinguished by pronunciation, grammar, or vocabulary, especially a variety of speech differing from the standard literary language or speech pattern of the culture in which it exists: Cockney is a dialect of English.

I am a master of multiple dialects of the English language:

1) Proper English
2) Everyday English
3) ???? English (because I refuse to use the word “Ebonics”, entertaining suggestions – Street English?)

My Proper English was learned in the grade school years and is what I use at work and not many other places. It confuses some people who first meet my acquaintance over the phone and are surprised to see the color of my skin when they meet me, having imagined me as white. It makes my sentences formally complete, and keeps my prepositions from dangling.

My Street English (we’re going with that for now) was fine-tuned at Norfolk State University. It does not include use of the N word for reasons that I’ve gone over before. I can turn it on and off as if it were a light switch, but normally only once spoken to in the same language. It has been known to surprise people who have never heard me speak it because it is such a departure from…

…My Everyday English, which is the most often utilized. It is a Proper English and Street English hybrid that I speak every day of the week. Prepositions may tend not to dangle, but under no circumstances am I going to speak this particular dialect in front of a boss.

Bloglings? What do you speak?

(I didn’t touch on accents above, but very quickly… No matter what anyone says, everyone has an accent. I was once told I have a “Northern Virginia accent” which sounded prepostorous to me at the time… but when you think about it, you don’t think you have an accent because everyone around you sounds the same. But, believe me, if you go to Boston or Alabama or Texas, DC natives, YOU are the one with the accent. There’s no argument for that.)

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