I have this thing with the way people speak. It started when I was in the 6th grade. I had this teacher, loved her. Her name was Ms. Shumate. She's African-american. She had such lovely diction. I went to a public school out in the valley, Granada Hills to be exact, a predominantly white school. It had a smattering of minorities. Back to Ms. Shumate. She had a tendency to correct any kid, namely the black kids, who didn't speak well. There was one girl in particular, her name was Bridgett. She was born in Los Angeles, but she sounded like she came from the deep south. When she said "oil", it sounded like "all." Instead of saying, "I'm about to...", she'd say, "I fina..." Instead of saying, "I won't...", she'd say, "I ain't..." Ms. Shumate made it her duty to teach Bridgett and all the rest of us black kids how to have proper diction. Trust me, she didn't have to do any work on me because the embarrassment that Bridgett endured everyday was more than enough to make sure I sounded as a proper young lady should.

All the background info is leading somewhere, just CTFO (CHILL THE FUCK OUT), just made that up, yupper, I feel really special.

Back to my point. Now, in my adulthood, I have a thing for diction. I love a well spoken individual and would rather engage in conversation with someone that's well spoken than someone who isn't. I work with a team of predominantly black individuals who didn't grow up or attend school in the valley so their way of speaking is a complete 180 from mine. It's funny how I always get the same reaction when I speak. They look at me like an alien (which I am) from another planet (Nigeria). Also, thanks to Ms. Shumate, I also have an aversion to certain words. When someone says "ain't", it's like nails down a chalkboard to me, like superman and kryptonite. The same can be said about "fina."

I just wanted to put this thought down because it's something that I've always wondered about. I honestly thank my mom for the foresight she had to send us to the school she sent us to and not the typically predominantly black schools that were around. Imagine me sounding like Shaneequa from around the way. That would so not be cute, like no way. So now, I have what's called "valley speak." It's a bit toned down from when I was a little kid who said "like" after every other word. Whose favorite phrases where "gnarly", "tubular", "rad." lol. Although those words are no longer part of my vocabulary, I'm still known to say dude and awesome (My bestfriend D hates when I say awesome, so I make it a point to say it around him as much as I can.) Anyhoo that's my random thought for today. Take care.


T.Notes said…
Lol!!!I think i'm gonna adopt CTFO!
@per ur question on my former comment,i do that when i'm reading thru and just wanna drop a "been around".Twasn't a real comment;-)-sticks out checky tongue.

Been thinking,my diction's taking a beating of late!Went2 what you would consider a "Queens" school,but then got a job in a highly techie environment where we only communicate in random variables less of english.Diction pretty much down hill from there!Hmmm now that i consider it,i do need to do something about this situation!

Up you on ur properism!Lol,not being sarcastic,serious!
YankeeNaija said…
@ T: Thanks. Understand the CTFO has been copyrighted or copywritten by me. lol @ cheeky tongue.

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