The Benefit of English but not Ebonics
The adults of my youth struggled never to speak Italian around us children. Thus, for many years, I resented never having learned the language of my ancestors. However, I never doubted that had I been raised Italian-speaking, I would have likely never done well enough in school to become a physician. The family in which I was raised did me a favor at great effort . . . because Italian came naturally to them. My father was in utero when he came over here. So I almost was a first generation American. For us kids, those adults pushed books always in English, especially two of them. In fact, by the time I was seven years old, I thought all questions could be answered by going to the English Dictionary or the Bible.
The English Language
Finding that books are important, a fortiori, also important became reading, writing and speaking. Words became undeniably important -- so much so that in my recent book Happy Ending, now at the printers, I postulate that "words are angels."
History proves that every civilization worthy of the label has a culture of libraries! If there are no libraries, one can almost forget it. Oh, there will occasionally be something important to learn from a library-less society, but not much, and whatever it is, it will be appropriated, improved upon, documented and assimilated into a Library Culture.
A library essentially is the hallmark of Western Civilization and the best book (perhaps a case can be made for the only book) required in a library is the Oxford English Dictionary. That book represents the acme of human intellectual labor: precise, erudite, historical, profound, accurate, informative. One could spend a lifetime working 24 hours a day and never master it. It is impossible to find its equivalent anywhere. It is unique. It sets the standard. Those who use it create culture in civilization. The Oxford English Dictionary demonstrates why English, precise English to be exact, has become the language for several reasons:
1. It catalogs over 750,000 words surpassing German, the second most numerical language by factor of two in number of words available to deal with existence.
2. Because of the number of words available, English enables the complex subtleties of reality to be better embraced.
3. Because of the number of words available, English enables a self-fulfilling engagement with the world.
4. Words give transcendental confluence -- the real power of spirit (intellect and will). The more words you know and the more words you use, the better existing will you be!
Because of the foregoing, English has been more and more recognized to be the language for activation of the planet and participation in planetary activities. Humanity is "editing" the planet, and it is doing it in English.
Objections to Ebonics
"Ebonics" is the latest name for a simple pseudo-language called "Black English" for some thirty years. Obviously, "Ebonics" is an improvement because "Black English" was neither black nor English.
To this observer, Ebonics is:
1. A spurious elevation of useless slang to status of "language" as a self-esteem ploy . . . demonstrating that fabrication IS, and always will be, a sign of inferiority.
2. A puerile secret "language" of schoolboys which gives a sense of togetherness, exclusivity and self-importance . . . proving the 3 Is of juvenile adolescence: Independence, Inconsiderateness and Incompetence.
3. A fanciful, contrivance creating aliens from their own culture -- the American Race -- which awaits and welcomes them if only they would take the trouble to learn and to speak the language of that culture -- English.
4. A "language" of slavery, because those using it will be banging their heads not on a glass ceiling, but on a wooden floor underneath which they will live in subterranean entrapment shackles whimpering and wailing that no one is setting them free, when to free themselves they only need to use real English.
5. A victimhood "poor me" ploy, which perpetuates and isolates such that only the helpless can speak to the helpless. Ebonics is an example of the innate nihilism present in black subculture as postulated by some black intellectuals. It is a self-mutilation to self-congratulatory victimhood.
6. A politically correct canard for liberal do-gooders too cowardly to challenge, too guilt-ridden to be forthright, and too grandiose to know their solution is not only fake but counterproductive.
7. Finally and foremost, Ebonics is a "feel good" for those adults supporting it, confident that the youngsters under their aegis will remain not only in their control, but will never pass them by or be assimilated further. These adults want these young people speaking Ebonics to be dependent on them -- totally dependent -- because that is what Ebonics is going to do. Theirs is a cruel "language" which kills children.
Ebonics is a gigantic unkindness of teaching nonsense with a sonorous insanity of mangled phonemes and morphemes. As described, Ebonics isolates and segregates -- and it is useless anywhere else -- if one went to France one would need to speak French or English, not Ebonics. Ebonics is an enormously bad amount of work which needs to be edited firmly by humanity. It gives an inarticulate lifestyle which leads, as always, to a dysfunctional lifestyle. One will know that it is vulgar because nothing new can come from it so that one will be a master of nothing with nothing ascendent. It is a stagnation and a hell. It misleads. It lies. It is grave digging. It sells liberty and gives away ascendancy for a bunch of words that do not make sense. It is not unEnglish as much as it is an unlanguage. One may as well cut off a foot, an arm or one's tongue.
Finally, it is tellingly despicable and contradictory that those who convinced lawmakers to approve Ebonics did not use Ebonics in their efforts to create this intellectual anarchy. One suspects they used very good English in fact.
The Oxford English Dictionary must be taught and used faithfully.
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