Even though HBO’s television show The Wire ran from 2002-2008, today it still remains hugely popular with television audiences around the country. This show continues to captivate viewers with its frank and realistic portrayal of life in the city of Baltimore. Each of its five seasons focused on characters in different urban domains including the drug trade, the seaport, local government, the education system and the print media, all as they interacted with Baltimore’s police department. The Wire has been praised by viewers for its anti-network stance and its devotion to presenting life in an American city in a way that is both authentic and thought-provoking. For linguists, perhaps of one of the show’s greatest achievements is its portrayal of local Baltimore accents.
Darren, from Canada, sent us the following question via email: Read more…
Awkward experiences with the N-word occur frequently, especially in the realm of hip-hop. Imagine this: you’re singing “Forget You” by Cee-Lo Green at karaoke with your friends, and you come to this part:
“Oh sh** she’s a gold digger, just thought you should know ni**a”.
The N-Word has the power to stop anyone’s karaoke jam in its tracks. What’s a music lover to do? Mumble something else? Forget the word entirely? Laugh it off? Read more…
“Where Have You Been” by Rihanna is this week’s new entry in the Top 10 on the Billboard Charts. This week’s hot summer songs have a lot of African American English (AAE) features yet to be explored. Particularly noticeable this week is AAE being featured alongside Standard American English (SAE) in songs that combine both hip-hop and rock elements.
Let’s look at the lyrics:
African American English (AAE) ushers in the holiday week, popping up all over the Billboard Charts. These top ten hits seem to be playing with AAE vocabulary, like swag, and tense-marking-suffixes. Check out some samples of the African American English features in these chart-topping songs: