They Own English

Should Writers Use They Own English? A response.

Here’s what I am listening to while writing:

The short answer is, absolutely yes. This is the first time ever I have read a critical analysis of something written with vernacular and slang. I guess by using those terms, I am technically upholding the “normal” analytical style of writing, but, to be fair, that is how I was raised. Breaking that style will be difficult, even with a professor encouraging me to do so. The idea that complex ideas can be explained through common folk language, without using big words and having a thesaurus handy, is awesome. It is totally a reclaiming of language and should be seen everywhere. It surprises me that I have not heard of Vershawn Ashanti Young until this year, especially since I went to a high school that prides itself on being progressive, teaching diverse perspectives, and listening to student’s perspectives.

Reading this piece, sitting outside on my porch with my dog on a Sunday morning, it all seemed very clear how clouded higher education and its view of the english language has become. This may sound weird, but, there were almost two points of clarity when I was reading this. Physical clarity in that I was outside on a nice morning, and mental clarity in that, even though the writing was written with slang, the content was so amazingly clear I did not have to try to pull the meaning out. Young wrote the piece beautifully, included relevant examples, and knew where he needed to explain and where he could cut corners. That level of comfort with his own writing is admirable, and is an inspiration to strive for. Although that was not Young’s point, it is one I took from his writing. As the syllabus for the class has discussed, this class is not about being perfect, it is about growing and going on your own journey of self discovery.

That is really what I hope to get out of this class, is to learn for , as well as share my own experiences with my classmates and Prof D. This is what I generally like about writing classes, they require a level of trust and rapport among the students and professors. If I cannot trust my peers to read and give valuable feedback on my pieces, then I have no reason to really try and share any deeply personal or vivid experiences. That is what will determine if our class is successful, if we trust one another to share what we really want to.

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