Or rather, several idiots.
According to this article there are a bunch of words that non-black people shouldn’t be using because…
…wait for it…
I clicked on the article when it came up because I was curious what a “blaccent” was. But, apparently “<i>it’s complicated</i>”. At least according to Lauren Michelle Jackson. At least Deandre Miles-Hercules attempts an explanation, “(it’s) a register of speech that appropriates features of what gets called African-American English, or Ebonics, often at a syntax or grammar level. It’s rarely appropriated by rhythm or intonation because those are the hardest to acquire.” Now, I could maybe get behind that definition a little bit. But they lost me when they got to specific instances such as “y’all” and “cool”. Mostly what I got from the article is these black people want to be paid for things that others came up with decades or even centuries ago.
While “cool” does have a history from black slang for meaning something like fashionable, hip, or good, it from 80-90 years ago. During that time many words have been incorporated into the general everyday use in the English language.
“Y’all” has an even older etymology, from at least the 1820s. And yes, it also has a history from black culture. But 200 years on no one really gives a fuck where the word came from. At this point it’s simply associated with the culture of the South.
What I really want to do is smack these people upside the head with a clue-by-four. <b>EVERY</b> language that survives is influenced by, and steals from, other languages. To quote James Nicoll, “The problem with defending the purity of the English language is that English is about as pure as a cribhouse whore. We don’t just borrow words; on occasion, English has pursued other languages down alleyways to beat them unconscious and rifle their pockets for new vocabulary.” If you go to a foreign country you will hear a bunch of English loan words as well. That’s not cultural appropriation. That’s simply picking up a term already in use that fits the situation.
And languages themselves evolve. I’m not a big fan of Shakespeare because I find the words and tempo of the story difficult. But, I can read it and speak it. As The History Guy says in The Great Vowel Shift And The History Of Britain, William Shakespeare (1564-1616) and Geoffrey Chaucer (~1540-1400), two of Britain’s greatest authors, would have had difficulty in understanding each other.
Ya know, maybe these people should just quit speaking English as they’re appropriating “White culture” by using our words. I wonder what they think of using Arabic numerals and the Latin alphabet. I mean, most of the world now uses one or other, or both. Even when using their own written language many will use Arabic numerals. And you know why? Because reinventing something that works is too much trouble. These people need to pull their heads out of their rear orifices and do something useful. There’s too many people running around decrying this, that, or the other and not being useful.