Oh my God I have a new linguist hero. His name is John McWhorter, the author of The Language Hoax, the Story of Human Language, and I guess a whole bunch of other stuff I have to track down and buy now because everything he does or says is just delightful? That’s the assumption I’m going with right now.
Anyway, I just listened to the most recent episode of Lexicon Valley (the first of many that I will download, let me tell you) that talks about how Black English (i.e. African American Vernacular English) influences General American English. It’s fascinating, it’s funny, it’s insightful as all hell. I think it made me a better person for listening to it? I’ll let you know.
Go listen to it.