OK, white Americans, listen up

One of the things I like about Kevin Ollie, UConn's men's basketball coach, is his unapologetic use of "black" English, his native dialect.

However, decades after linguists had shown that the idea is nonsense, I still hear complaints that black English is "ungrammatical." If you are inclined to think this is true, take a look at the following two sentences:

1) Man, these kids done a great job, and while I don't mean no disrespect to State U, our kids, they just got more heart than any other team.

2) Man, this kids have did a great job, and while I don't mean some disrespect to State U, our kids, they just gotten more heart than any other team.

You can immediately pick out which one is actual black English, and which one is a mangled imitation of it, right? You know why: because you've heard black English your whole life, and you know its grammar perfectly well. And that grammar is just as regular as that of "white" English, which is why it is easy to see when someone is writing or speaking it incorrectly. So cut it out with, "Why doesn't he learn to speak properly?" OK?

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