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Ebonics Made Easy For Caucasians With No Flava
by Rick Hendershot, Linknet Publishing Network
When you see Snoop Dogg in that Chrysler commercial along with Lee Iacocca, and you hear him say something like,Fo shizzle ikeizlle!
...do you have any idea what he's talking about?
Chances are, your reaction is the same as mine: "Hey, this guy is pretty good at coming up with nonsensical impromptu rhymes."
But that just reveals my ignorance of where a guy like Snoop Dogg is coming from. It turns out these rhymes are not just nonsense, but actually part of a much more widely used dialect spoken by millions of African Americans -- especially teenagers in "the hood".
People like me and Lee just don't get it. If you ask me to translate even a simple sentence into this kind of street talk, I have no idea.
In the popular media this dialect is known as "Ebonics" -- from "ebony"
(black) and "phonics" (sound). The serious study of ebonics has been around for more than 30 years. In the 1970s linguists showed how most of African American dialects share many of the same grammatical features as other languages. They emerged when a hodge podge ...
... of West African languages melded together with English to form a language the captive Africans could use to communicate with each other. So many of the grammatical features of ebonics that we dismiss as just plain bad English actually have roots in many West African languages. The popularity of rap and hip hop music has given these unique ways of speaking tremendous exposure, and rejuventated the idea that ebonics is a serious study of a real and important dialect. In fact in 1996 ebonics was actually recognized by the Oakland School Board as a native language of over 50 million African Americans. And in 2005 it was also added to the curriculum by the San Bernardino School Board. Now Bling Bling Inc. has launched Ebonic Persuit, a unique new card game that can teach everybody the basic vocabulary and syntax of Ebonics. No more excuses. In the words of Jack Hoffer its inventor, "Ebonic Persuit is a way to bridge a very palpable communication gap" for those of us who have no idea what all those rappers and comedians are talking about. According to Hoffer, "Customers have told me they have taken the game on cross country road trips and had a blast with it. And college kids have told me Ebonic Persuit is a big hit at parties..." Hoffer calls it "a ghettofabulous card game that has, as the Rools of Play proclaim, no rules at all." The cards test players' knowledge with multiple choice questions in six different categories - Homeslices, Drug and Leizur, Sex and Natur, Ghettography, Flava and Literature, and Hip Hop Trivia. It is a satire of ebonics that succeeds at being eductional and entertaining without in any way being disrespectful. Sounds like a perfect way to get up to speed on ebonics! For more information about Ebonic Persuit visit the Ebonic Persuit website.
About the Author Rick Hendershot is a writer and internet publisher. For promotional ideas visit the Linknet Advertising Network. See our Article Promo Program were we write and publish articles for you. There's nothing else like it anywhere.
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