Maybe you guys both need to chill?

Reading Nathan Heller on Stephen Pinker:

American language digests everything, in all directions. (Few other tongues would let you seize a bottle of whisky with chutzpah, drink it with louche abandon, and get down with the party.) And it’s given rise to special innovations. Consider the extra grammatical “aspects” of African-American English, the “be” aspects conveying habitual states, which add descriptive precision and nuance. (Eddie Murphy: “Elvis was forty-two years old, remember, right before he croaked?… His butt be sticking out.”) Problems arise only when vernaculars don’t intersect—when, say, the West Coast twentysomething asks her Bostonian boss to bring “hella” doughnuts to the meeting.

I don’t understand that Eddie Murphy joke.  What would happen if you ask edyour Boston boss for hella doughnuts?  If he’s cool he’d probably think it was funny .  But, even if you’re on the West Coast you probably shouldn’t ask your boss to bring hella doughnuts to a meeting.  (If you’re from the West Coast wouldn’t you call them donuts anyway?)

If you’re gonna take a run at Steven Pinker you better come correct.

Just learn how to diagram sentences and then relax, I say.



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.