Ax or Ask? again
In an earlier post we gave some background on the origins of ‘ask’ pronounced as ‘ax’. We could argue that African American English (AAE) has retained an earlier form of English. No matter the origins or linguistic explanation for its ubiquitous pronunciation in AAE, people still have very strong reactions about the use of ‘ax’ (past tense: ‘axed’).
Check out a 2007 clip from Garrard McClendon, who wants African Americans to learn to wipe out ‘ax’ in their native dialects of English.
McClendon wants African Americans to stop speaking AAE and speak what he refers to as ‘proper english’.
This seems sound, especially if you believe that speaking mainstream English has positive ramifications. But, we should also remember that AAE has it positives as well, and should be appreciated for its linguistic, social and cultural value (as noted by some of our greatest thinkers like James Baldwin and Toni Morrison). What do you think?