In African American dialect, is it “I like” or “I likes”?

Following the rules of African American dialect, one rule is to drop the ‘s’ on a verb when using third person singular, i.e. “she like, he like” – my question is – for the first person singular, would “I likes” be correct in dialect, or should it be “I like”? without the ‘s’? Answer In … Read more

Meaning of “But no Source never made me not buy an album when they say it was wack”

I cannot get the real meaning of this AAVE sentence from rapper Kon Artis, a song lyric transcribed at Genius: But no Source never made me not buy an album when they say it was wack Source is the name of a magazine. Answer It’s confusing because there are so many negatives that don’t belong … Read more

‘Gwine’: How accurate is the African-American dialect in early 20th c writing?

A recent question here about “fo’ sho’” produced answers with a number of quotes of Southern US or AAE (African American English) varieties. To my ear, these quotes sounded awful and I question their authenticity. The sound like The quotes come primarily from late 19th c literature. Some more famous examples: Jim is written in … Read more

“Best believe…” as a rhetorical device or device of storytelling

On imgur, there is a post with screenshots of an individual’s row of Twitter posts. In them, he is telling a story making use of what I (as a non-native speaker of English). I was originally guessing the writing to be in a form of AAVE, but answer so far convincingly make the argument that … Read more

Is “wally” common vernacular for a groundhog?

It just came to my attention that my family uses what some Googling suggests is a “strange” word for this furry fellow: According to the Wikipedia page, this animal/rodent/marmot has all sorts of names (as might be expected for such a common animal): Marmota monax, groundhog, woodchuck, whistlepig, chuck, wood-shock, groundpig, whistler, thickwood badger, Canada … Read more

What do you call the practice of leaving the final word in a phrase unspoken?

I cannot say for sure that Americans never do this, but some British speakers seem to leave off the last word in a (usually) set phrase. For example, the Cockney character Gerry Standing in the BBC series “New Tricks” told a suspect, “You stabbed her, you panicked, you ran. Simple as.” He left off the … Read more

What a driver does with the passengers?

When you drive a car and bring people somewhere what you do with them? I mean, the delivery process of people. How to pronounce the complete sentence? Answer You drop them off at their destination. Verb: drop off dróp óf Leave at a destination; remove from a transport container “drop off the passengers at the … Read more

What does “Dis sho’ am good” mean in this old advertisement?

I was looking through this list of old, racist advertisements. Here’s one of them: What is “Dis sho’ am good” supposed to mean? I’m assuming it’s some sort of attempt at stereotypical vernacular language or something, but I really am not sure how to decipher it. Answer As other people have said, it means “this … Read more

Is the past participle becoming obsolete? (I have went)

I noticed someone saying “I have went” about a month ago and it jarred me. Then I heard it again, and again, so I started paying attention. I noticed that the first couple of people I heard say this were Black, so I figured it was maybe a feature of Afro American Vernacular English. Then … Read more

“exhibition” vs. “exposition” vs. “exhibit” in AmEng

What’s the difference between those words with regard to a public showing, as of goods or works of art? Can these be used interchangeably? Both "exhibit" and "exposition" are marked as Americanisms by Adrienne’s English-French Dictionary, Ed. 1991. EXPOSITION A public show or exhibition (M-W) Bertha, by this time a writer and critic, had attended … Read more