The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current, January 13, 1997, Page 5, Image 5

Below is the OCR text representation for this newspapers page. It is also available as plain text as well as XML.

Da 411 on givin’ props to English
Ebonics should not be a second language
Ti_1_i i __
ii may uave uecn cuie wnen
Audrey Hepburn couldn’t pronounce
“plains in Spain” or “Hartford,
Hereford and Hampshire,” but not
even the original classy lady could
get a job speaking like that, and all
she wanted in the movie was to work
in a flower shop. Imagine the ’90s,
urban version of this movie, using
“Ebonics,” recently the most
politically correct term for African
American slang.
“Dang! Y’all goo’ wan’ me ta do
what? Nah uh, 1 ain’t even tryin’ ta
hear dat (expletive). Whut ‘chall
think dis is?”
Hold on, there’s my phone
ringing — I think it could be
Since the dawn of language,
nations and societies have had
cultural dialects, and for instance in
England before the turn of the
century, the dialect you spoke often
determined your station in life.
Those who spoke “Queen’s English”
were generally the landed nobility
and well-off. Any other variation,
such as Cockney, was considered
used only by the lower classes and
the speaker undeserving of any
opportunity. As in dear Eliza
Doolittle’s case, the only way to get
a better job was to learn “proper”
I don’t care if “dissed” did
recently make it into the dictionary,
using it at a job interview “ain’t
gonna” get you a job.
Does this mean that slang,
specifically “black” slang, is low
class and undeserving of recogni
tion? Let me answer that question
with another. Do blacks need
legislative recognition in order to
talk the way they want to?
When I’m kickin’ it with the
homecrew and just chillin’, I talk
the way I want to, using code words
and nicknames my friends and I
have made up or picked up from the
street. Everyone, regardless of race,
has their own “lingo” that is
acceptable within certain family and
friendship circles. That there is a
time and place for everything is
almost too obvious to state.
In a country where the battle is
whether or not Spanish should be
considered a second language, I
can’t believe that it would be
acceptable to single out the dialect of
one particular group for recognition.
Arc African-Americans too ignorant
to learn standard English? Not
according to the committees in favor
of Ebonics. Oh no. They just want us
to feel included, bridge the gap and
acknowledge that our slang is
language, too.
How much longer will separatist
endeavors be accepted as politically
correct “cultural sensitivity?”
If this idea of slang dialect as
standard language becomes a reality,
just imagine the fun for printers of
federal and state forms. Already
there are complaints in New York
that the driver’s license test has to
be printed in too many Asian
lanj^agesaodit^s wstingilhe^ily a
tortune — imagine it they have to
start printing in slang dialect.
First off, you would have to
identify your race before taking the
test, and for people of mixed races,
this would be big fun.
Then, the really fun part. Just what
type of slang do you speak? I mean,
there’s Southern slang, East Coast,
West Coast and Hispanic slang. Would
you choose the test that says “dude”
or “homeboy?” Would the test be for
cars, “rides” or “lowriders?”
But Spanish as a second language
would cause too much confusion,
People of color don’t need federal
validation to speak their own dialect,
nor do I think it would benefit
anyone for teachers to stop correct
ing mistakes in grammar for the
sake of cultural sensitivity.
The losers would still be those
kids from uneducated homes, and I
can’t imagine the sensitivity of
employers when they are throwing
out misspelled applications and are
forced to desperately try to translate
during a job interview.
Not many generations have
passed since blacks struggled to get
into college, and not much further
back were they struggling just for
the right to leam how to read. Now
that we can do all of those things,
there are those who want to take
away the tools to succeed in the
name of cultural awareness and
inclusiveness. Wake up, and take a
sniff ‘cause here’s the coffee — we
shall overcome.
Hollimon-Stovall is a senior
broadcasting major and a Daily
Nebraskan columnist.
Writer leaves anonymity behind
Chalkboard sage imparts his wisdom to students
Awaken, you sleeping giants and
return to the torturous paths of
higher learning. Once again we are
faced with the challenges that
confront all students. What does this
next semester hold in store for me?
What will my new instructors be
like? Does it get any better than
For those of you returning to
these hallowed halls, I say welcome
back. To the lucky few who are just
embarking on this quest for a
degree, I say prepare for this
experience well. What happens over
the next few years will give you the
skills you need to continue in the
working world as leaders of business
and industry.
But you will not find this an easy
path to travel. It is fraught with
many perils. Long hours spent in
quiet study and reflection on the
meanings of life and how projectiles
travel. Writing endless tomes about
truth and reality, and developing
chemical compounds that do not
explode m the lab. And endeavoring
to prove your prowess in your
chosen subjects through the most
terrifying of all perils — the
Some of you may not survive.
The ones who do have discovered
true enlightenment through many
lectures, pens and pencils flowing
across the page in a mad dance of
note-taking, and the clever use of
tape recordings.
But the real key to success in
college, as in any endeavor, is
managing your time. If you have
ever tried to make it from Nebraska
Hall to Brace Lab in 10 minutes, you
have either developed extraordinary
methods of time management, or
have found that elusive worm hole
that only appears when certain curse
words are muttered while standing
upon the steps of Nebraska Hall.
While managing your time may
seem unimportant if your classes are
not scheduled one right after the
other, finding time to study, work on
group projects, write papers and
prepare for tests, is essential. It is
more essential if you have a life
outside of college, or work to
acquire the funds necessary to enjoy
what little time off you do have.
Now throw a wife and two small
children into the mix, and you have
something that resembles my
At this point, I should probably
introduce myself. For those of you
who don’t know me, I have never
been, or will be, a perfume model.
Most importantly, I am not your
typical college freshman.
I am 36 years old, with a military
background and 13 years of experi
ence operating nuclear reactors. I
have heard lots of jokes about
glowing in the dark, growing
additional appendages and having
children that resemble something
out of an R.L. Stine novel.
With such a humble background,
I can hardly consider myself
someone who stands out in a crowd.
I would rather consider myself to be
an unassuming character. It is safer
that way.
Hence, I can only lay a minimal
claim to fame as the “Phantom
Chalkboard Writer” in Avery Hall.
Avery Hall holds some special
creative magic for me. I have yet to
determine why. Perhaps the journal
ism department provides a focal
point for creative energies, drawing
them into Avery Hall. Or maybe not.
I appear before you through the
not-so-subtle promptings of my
fellow Calc I students. Their
encouragement means my literary
works can now be appreciated by a
larger audience.
I do not intend to betray their
trust in me. During the next few
weeks, I hope to amuse and en
lighten you. Some of what I write
may shock or offend, but I plan to
make you think about the topic at
hand. '
But I am not so shallow as to
believe that mine is the only opinion
worthy of discussion. I welpome
your comments and suggestions,
because without them I cannot
improve myself, which is why I am
really here.
So awaken you sleeping giants
and set your feet upon that won and
torturous path of enlightenment ahd
higher learning. We travel this
course together, so, to quote a recent
Nissan commercial, let’s “enjoy the
MacDonald is a freshman
electrical engineering major
and a Daily Nebraskan columnist.
Icon for Hen appeals to men’s sensibilities—A great fragrance.
Straightforward grooming routine. And ingredients like Biotin and Cysteine.
that delivers the look and feel a man wants Icon shampoos and conditioft
ers won’t weigh hair d«m. Styling products leave hair looking and feeling
natural. Stop in today and experience the Icon difference for yourself.
College of Hair Design
Rest Assured
be Insured.
Enrollment deadline is FRIDAY, 2/7/97!
NOW is the time to review your current medical insurance
and/or consider a plan to assist you with your health care needs!
Your University Health Center, together with GM Southwest of
Dallas,TX, offers UNL students a comprehensive and affordable
medical insurance plan specifically designed to suit the needs of
undergraduate and graduate students. The plan offers students:
* An annual premium of only $399!
* The convenient location and services of the University Health
Center (located at 15th & U) for initial treatment!
* Dependent coverage is also available!
(see policy brochure for dependent premiums and
specific details)
Brochures and applications are available at the University
Health Center, International Affairs Office or by mail; Have any
questions? Call our 24-hour information line at 472-7437.