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  1. banderas's Avatar
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    #1

    ain't, slang

    Dear Teachers and Members,
    Phrasing like these belove (not to mention others) might indicate a poor English of a native speaker.
    "If I ain't got you."
    "I don't want nothing at all."

    They might or might not. Let's not discuss it.
    I wonder what are the other reasons (besides poor education) for using this kind of English?
    Any ideas?

    Cheers
    Banderas


    • Join Date: Oct 2006
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    #2

    Re: ain't, slang

    Dialectical forms of spoken English.

  2. banderas's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: ain't, slang

    Quote Originally Posted by Anglika View Post
    Dialectical forms of spoken English.
    Do you use these forms?
    Folks who use this language, does it make them more cool or is there any other reason for speaking like this?


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    #4

    Re: ain't, slang

    Quote Originally Posted by banderas View Post
    Do you use these forms?
    Folks who use this language, does it make them more cool or is there any other reason for speaking like this?
    No - save when being facetious or in an idiom: If it ain't broke, don't fix it.

    Some people may well feel it makes them cool, or do it in order to rebel against authority. There is a great difference between doing it deliberately while knowing it is incorrect and speaking in the way that your peers and social group speak.

  3. banderas's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: ain't, slang

    Quote Originally Posted by Anglika View Post
    No - save when being facetious.
    When/why would you be facetious, Anglika?
    When mocking someone or wanting to appear clever?
    Would you mind giving one example, please?

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    #6

    Re: ain't, slang

    "If I ain't got you."
    "I don't want nothing at all."

    Both ain't and the double negative have been in common English use for centuries and there are no valid grammatical arguments against them; this is entirely a social issue: they are simply not considered to be correct.

    I recommend you avoid their use whenever speaking or writing in a more formal situation so as not to be unduly stigmatized.

    Sad but true.

  4. banderas's Avatar
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    #7

    Re: ain't, slang

    Quote Originally Posted by JJM Ballantyne View Post

    I recommend you avoid their use whenever speaking or writing in a more formal situation so as not to be unduly stigmatized.
    Hi, JJM Ballantyne,
    why would one use these forms in informal situations?


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    #8

    Re: ain't, slang

    To avoid using a cliche.
    Take Anglika's example:
    If somebody is asking for my advice, and my advice is the equivalent of "If all seems to be going well, then don't meddle. It might have a detrimental effect."
    The cliche expression for this is, "If it isn't broken, don't mend it."
    One can avoid using a tired cliche, and also indicate that the person shouldn't regard this as a serious matter in which they should intervene, I can light-heartedly say, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it."

    Perhaps this lightening of a situation, taking the edge off the seriousness in which some matter is being discussed, is one of the main reasons for using this kind of incorrect grammar.
    Instead of saying, 'well, perhaps there's another reason why... your explanation for this might not be right', I might say, "It ain't necessarily so."
    This is in casual conversation - no in formal writing or in business-type or professional discussions.

  5. BobK's Avatar
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    #9

    Re: ain't, slang

    For another thing, ease of learning a second language. Consider this paradigm:

    I am not/I'm not/[I amn't/I an't, used in former centuries and still in some dialects]
    You are not/You're not/you aren't
    He she or it is not/isn't/He's she's or it's not
    We are not/we aren't/we're not
    You are not/you aren't/you're not
    They are not, they aren't, they're not
    That's a lot of phonological, morphological, and grammatical rules to learn - not to mention punctuation and spelling ("its" or "it's", "they're/their/there", "we're" [rhymes with "weir", but not with "were" - or with "where" {which is different from that}]...).

    On the other hand, try this:
    I |
    you |
    he/she or it AIN'T
    we |
    you |
    they |
    If you were starting to learn English in a country populated by many other immigrants who didn't speak your native language (America springs to mind), which paradigm would you find it easier to remember?

    b
    Last edited by BobK; 16-May-2008 at 11:19. Reason: Tweak format; added "we're" variants


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    #10

    Re: ain't, slang

    So that's why!?!!
    That explains a lot.

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