Monday, March 30, 2009

Fractured English gone Mainstream

English is making a comeback in the news!!! Sportswriters are debating journalistic rules for using direct quotes. Sounds sexy doesn’t it? The problem is with interviewing black athletes. Uh Oh! One of Black America’s dirty secrets has reared its ugly head again. Some sportswriters are having to clean up the athletes words.

Phrases like “we was”, “ain’t just cause”, “we got to play”, and “they just like us” are peppering the newspapers and magazines.

Some writers are letting the words go to print verbatim. Apparently they feel that altering the quotes tampers with the athletes’ intent. Somewhere Clarence Thomas is yelling for the writers to doctor up the quotes!!!!! I’m sure he doesn’t want white folks knowing about our verbal challenges. But is it the writers’ responsibility to cover up the dirt? It’s not their fault that Tyrone can hit 3’s but splits verbs.

It all starts from home……………
1. The athlete’s Momma and (maybe Daddy) probably didn’t speak proper english.

It all starts in the community……….
2. The neighborhood that the athlete lived in was full of people that didn’t speak proper english.

It’s all about the books………..
3. The athlete was talented from an early age so people overlooked his academics.

It’s about having people concerned about your well being………….
4. The school that recruited the athlete wasn’t concerned about his grades.

But the problem is bigger than Tyrone’s college days. What happens when he retires from the Pro’s? You hear those former sports athletes on ESPN giving analysis - sounding like a jail house philosopher. One night Jalen Rose was talking and I almost spit out my drink. What in the whoseit? That’s what I would have said but I had liquids in my mouth. Emmitt Smith didn’t have his contract renewed by ESPN. He was labeled by many in the sports reporting industry as inarticulate. Watching him was difficult at times. It seemed as if the words were coming out faster than what he was actually thinking.

The Kings English is being slaughtered on bball courts and football fields all over America. Hopefully someone in this crib to pro system will step up and see the need to help these kids. But in the end, this is about something bigger than sports. It’s about a broken system that is supported by enablers. Eventually no one wins in this system. The athletes might win on the field but they lose in life.


uglyblackjohn said...

That's not as bad as the newscasters here who speak in Ebonics...WHILE PRESENTING THE NEWS!
And then I hear kids say, "Well the news lady said it".

the uppity negro said...

Yet another post about newspapers and journalists...


But I've always wondered that myself. I've heard a lot of athletes on the evening news and on ESPN and I just cringe. Now I know I sometimes have my own colloquialisms, and every once in a while I use them in places that I don't need to, but when I have to get up and give presentations and everything, you would never know how I talk around my friends.

I think they need to go ahead and give a direct quote, maybe it'll shame the jokers into speaking properly. Not saying it's necessarily a bad thing, but athletes should be aware that they need to shake the moniker of being the "dumb jock." And if they black, being nothing more than a "dumb nigger who can throw a football."

Although I have developed a southern twang to my voice, I've been Down South ENTIRELY too long.

Citizen Ojo said...

Ugly - Really on the news!!! ESPN doesn't count, we know it's full of Ebonics

Uppity - Newspapers and Journalists... It might be a sign... Being in the South is good for you. The weather... the women... ; )