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You have to love the gramatical errors... public edumacation at its finest!

Posted by Homo Will | January 14, 2008 8:17 AM

I think he sounds like an idiot.

Posted by Mr. Poe | January 14, 2008 8:18 AM

You have to note that his posting was on Myspace, where grammar and spelling are completely irrelevant. His grammar is better than 90% of what I see on Myspace. Better grammar than a lot of comments on Slog, even. Or mine after a couple of beers.

Posted by Reverse Polarity (formerly SDA in SEA) | January 14, 2008 8:23 AM

Charles, standard spelling is not a tool of white privilege created to keep the black man down. It is a dam, constantly leaking and being patched, holding back the flood of confused meaning and wayward pronunciation. Standard spelling is what makes it possible for people to communicate with each other effectively.

Posted by Greg | January 14, 2008 8:29 AM

Aren't newspapers inundated with people complaining about and correcting grammar, diction, and spelling? (I barely avoid sending these myself.) Maybe Jameson was just trying to nip that in the bud with an acknowledgement of the lack of adherence to accepted norms of written language.

Posted by beneluxboy | January 14, 2008 8:30 AM

#4 and #5: Exactly. And by the way, Mr. Mudede, it's spelled "Jamieson". (Jamieson, Jr. to be precise.) It's the man's name.

Posted by me | January 14, 2008 8:39 AM

Yeah, to hell with whitey - writing and speaking English is just another way of holding back the blacks and illegals. Besides, who needs to communicate when the only things that are important to you are what's going up your nore or who you're going to shoot next?

Posted by Fifty-Two-Eighty | January 14, 2008 8:44 AM

Fifty-Two-Eighty you're a racist and that's sad.

Posted by elenchos | January 14, 2008 8:48 AM

elenchos, everyones a little bit racist sometimes.

Posted by Bellevue Ave | January 14, 2008 8:50 AM

so let me get this straight. there is, you claim, such a thing as objective truth--a movie can be objectively good, or bad. a building is either True or it isn't. Taste is absolute. You expound on it again and again.

A contradiction: here you apply a subjective standard to someone you don't like and criticize them for applying an objective standard to language.

This is why your posts are rubbish. It is impossible to reconcile all the different modes of mudede into a common thread--which would be fine if your common theme wasn't absolutist. your posts are disjointed and your arguments are contradictory, yet you claim to have some kind of handle on the Truth of things.

It is very simple. Either there is an objective truth or there isn't. Either the world can be defined and mastered by human consciousness or it can't. If it can't, then there is room for subjective truth--truths that can contradict, truths that can only have significance for some but not all.

If there is objective truth, which you argue constantly, then this statement is false: "Just because the surface expression wasn’t composed with the strict set of rules that you’ve been told (and retold) are the right set of rules (my use of the word “right” in this context preserves its older meaning of power, domination, law, king), doesn’t mean it is ungrammatical."

I happen to think that you, in this post, are right. Just because you tell us again and again what is True doesn't make it so. It means that YOU don't think it's so.

Posted by some dude | January 14, 2008 8:52 AM

If I deliberately expressed myself like that, I'd fully expect to be shunned and ignored, and I'm white and square as they come.

Posted by NapoelonXIV | January 14, 2008 8:52 AM

I thought that may have been a Mudede post I agreed with, but then he delivered the absolute retardation at the end. Good ol' reliable.

Posted by Chris | January 14, 2008 8:53 AM

What if you ran a standard up a flagpole and no one saluted?

Good post.

Posted by bill | January 14, 2008 8:54 AM

*sigh* a longtime linguist in academia, one of the first thing we teach budding new linguists is that if you say "Jim and me" rather than "I and Jim" like your second-grade teacher (or copy editor) demanded, you know what? It's fine. Language, after all, has and always will be generated by the mind; it didn't spontaneously spring forth from some ancient grammar textbook.

Just because AAVE (African-American Vernacular English; yup, it's got a name that's not Ebonics) isn't a dialect of prestige doesn't mean that it doesn't have the capacity to communicate the exact same meaning and thoughts as any other human language.

Posted by Rgeorgi | January 14, 2008 9:00 AM

some dude: my point is the "deep structure." read what i wrote! if the deep structure is correct, the expression will be correct. grammar is not the point. the idea is the point, the ground. the ground idea is either good or bad--a good or bad deep structure. my post is consistent. and don't you dare challenge me again without reading my work closely.

Posted by charles mudede | January 14, 2008 9:05 AM

The original text is entirely consistent with the standards on MySpace. If anything, standard English would have looked overwrought and pretentious in that context.

The story is really what a bad writer Jamison is. He was trying to make a point but by literally copying the original quote instead of paraphrasing or correcting it, he created this unnecessary distraction over grammar.

Posted by elenchos | January 14, 2008 9:09 AM

chaz, how would you know what good and bad "deep structure" is considering you've never written anything good.

Posted by Bellevue Ave | January 14, 2008 9:11 AM

It's a post, not an essay. It reflects what the man is thinking and saying, not what he is crafting for print in a scholarly article. Try dictating what you say sometime and see how it comes out. Something becomes sum'n. The explosion of texting has so many people who formerly expressed themselves only orally now expressing themselves verbally as well. It is literally a new language for which standards are evolving. There was a similar evolution when the Nixon tapes were released and newspapers that would have automatically censored any mention of profanity suddenly were printing [expletive deleted] and inserting all the umms, uhhs, huhs, and other oral expressions that had always been carefully edited out of the official print version. And if you're still worked up about standard grammar, take the afternoon off and go mark up Molly's monologue in Ulysses. Maybe you can improve on the original?

Posted by kk | January 14, 2008 9:17 AM

Isabelle's grammar was fine. He used non-standard orthography (spelling).

Charles is still a pretentious schmuck.

Posted by Judah | January 14, 2008 9:17 AM

"don't you dare challenge me again..." -- who the fuck are you? charles -- you are a dick!

Posted by joey | January 14, 2008 9:19 AM

Oh, Charles, get over yourself.

Try a different "moral" of the story (which, by the way, is played out so I'm not even going to try to match your style): Here's a writer, who relies upon grammar and sentence structure to guide him as he composes a story. If he turned a sentence like that into his editor, he'd certainly hear about it. Now he's rising beyond the grammatical prison of his youth to recognize the beauty and truth in a less traditionally-structured sentence.

If you want an racial issue to be pissed about, there are plenty to choose from in Seattle. Just... maybe try picking one that actually exists?

Posted by Lauren | January 14, 2008 9:21 AM

So let me get this straight:

* There's a disturbing societal reality of black-on-black violence.
* That reality reconfirmed itself in the murder of this young man.
* The community mourned him.
* Members of the community, among those most responsible for the execution of the black-on-black crime (ie, gangs), have spoken out that the killing needs to stop.
* A white journalist has taken notice of this call, and given it visibility -- and support, calling it "perfect" -- in the daily paper.

And out of all this...

* Charles Mudede gets his Isadorah Duncan of a brain wrapped around the axle of "deep structure."
* Isadorah Duncan is used in the traditional definition of: "agile, dancer, talented").
* Axle is used with the traditional meaning of "turning thing that, um, turns."

While intellectually delightful, Mr. Mudede's argument is self-satisfied masturbation, at best, irrelevant at worst.

People are getting killed. We need to stop it. We need every journalist, public figure, and citizen, etc., to bring visibility and drive action.

In the face of this, who the fuck cares about grammar, and why nitpick Jamieson for this?

So white people aren't perfect in dealing with issues of race -- and never will be to 100% satisfaction.

If you're just discovering this, Mr. Mudede, you have a long day ahead of you.

Posted by Jubilation T. Cornball | January 14, 2008 9:21 AM

how do you know that the readers jamieson was warning are white?

wreck yourself, indeed.

@9: everyone is BIGOTED sometimes. "racism" doesn't mean merely predjudiced, it is an escalation of bigotry to a belief system: any program or practice of racial discrimination, segregation, and domination, based on racialism.

Posted by max solomon | January 14, 2008 9:23 AM

SomeDude...I think you and I would get along famously over a cup of coffee. :-)

Charles...I think Some Dude touched a nerve with you because he's found the weak spot of your philosophy. ;-)

Death to absolutism as determined by a man or a committee.

Posted by Timothy | January 14, 2008 9:26 AM

look yall bedder shut up cuz yall aint got no i d a what yall talkin bout peeple talk jus like peeple talk cuz dats da wey de talk and eveyboddy who talk english dont talk it da same wey and dere aint spozed ta be nuthin rong wit dat cuz white folks in astralia or wheyever can talk how ever they want and dont no body say nuthin

Posted by Cat in Chicago | January 14, 2008 9:26 AM

max, you obviously havent seen avenue q, which has a delightful song that talks about everyone being racists, sometimes!

Posted by Bellevue Ave | January 14, 2008 9:27 AM

@17, 19, 20, 21, 22

Charles is drunk and giggling like a little girl again. This I'm sure of.

I love you, Charles!

Posted by Mr. Poe | January 14, 2008 9:29 AM

The reporter's interpellated (the) also screws up the sense of the original: "All this south end [...] beef needs to stop." How does "All this south end [...] the beef needs to stop" make sense?

Posted by Eric F | January 14, 2008 9:34 AM


Jamieson is black by the way.

I don't have a problem with African Americans speaking and writing non-standard English. The problem is those folks who don't know how to speak or write standard English.

Linguistic minorities in numerous other countries don't complain when they're expected to learn the majority language; that's the only way to succeed. Perhaps we'll come to a day where a Catalan doesn't need to learn Spanish, a Fleming doesn't need to learn French, or an African American doesn't need to learn standard English, but we're not there yet. In the here and now, everyone needs to learn the majority language so that we can all communicate effectively.

Posted by keshmeshi | January 14, 2008 9:50 AM

sigh. It's all about the MAN tryin' to keep a brother down.

Posted by monkey | January 14, 2008 9:51 AM

@29 -- whoops! I thought he was that fat white guy. My bad. I don't read the PI or the Times, to be honest.

Well, I guess just take out "white" from my post and the point remains the same. If anything, it amps my call for more journalists -- black AND white -- to get involved.

Posted by Jubilation T. Cornball | January 14, 2008 9:58 AM

Camus believed that when an individual's consciousness looks for order and comes against the Other's lack of order, absurdity is born.

I read your post. I've read most of your posts. They're attempts at quashing the anxiety of living in complex and contradictory world. They're make believe. Meaningless.

In order for your opinions to have any meaning, they are entirely dependent upon the rest of us agreeing to your premise. They have no intrinsic value of their own. That is the larger truth, and when confronted with it your anxiety bubbles to the surface. How dare I, indeed.

p.s. timothy - i love coffee.

Posted by some dude | January 14, 2008 10:07 AM

These types of post just makes Slogs' racist tools foam. Any chance they get. Point is her grammar is fine and Robert was being an jerk and putting on airs for the sake of his readers.

Posted by SeMe | January 14, 2008 10:16 AM

a jerk. oh well, hell if i care.

Posted by SeMe | January 14, 2008 10:17 AM

@3,@4,@5, and ESPECIALLY @ 10 you guys are right on the money.

Who is this moron? He actually works for the Stranger?

Are you just trying to stir the pot with someone who is clearly ignornant with no common sense, perspective, or wisdom.

Thanks for re-inforcing my (and many others) views of a typical black man. Nothing (not even their inability to comprehend language rules) is their fault, and just an ends to a means by white men trying to keep the black man down.

This is why the grand idea of a "melting pot" of citizens doesn't work. Whenever you have a class of people that insist on contantly making their own rules, blame all of their failires and struggles on others, and generally push an agenda of racism (though we aren't allowed to call it that), you have an environment where a fully colorblind/culture blind/ethic blind society can never work.

Thanks for continuing to push that agenda my brotha Mudede

Posted by Reality Check | January 14, 2008 10:48 AM

I'd have thought the loyal denizens of the Slog would at least try not to make their racism so overt. Disappointing.

Posted by tsm | January 14, 2008 10:51 AM

@22 Thanks Jubilation

I should have read your post first before slogging mine up here.

It would have saved me 10 minutes typing.

Posted by Reality Check | January 14, 2008 10:53 AM

And @10 - your argument misses the point. Even if you accept the notion of "objective truth", that does not necessarily translate to there being "objective correctness" in linguistics. Language is merely a protocol.

Posted by tsm | January 14, 2008 10:56 AM

Reality Check, you are boring. And a racist.

Posted by elenchos | January 14, 2008 10:58 AM

"In fact, Isabell’s English is more alive, electric, fertile than the dead standard"

Fertile like shit is fertile...

Posted by You_Gotta_Be_Kidding_Me | January 14, 2008 11:02 AM


Well it's settled. Elenchos has spoken.

Shall I genuflect now or later?

btw.. pointing out racism doesn't make me a racist...nor does poking fun at other's ignornance.

Glad you feel so empowered to comment on me.

Posted by Reality Check | January 14, 2008 11:06 AM
pointing out racism doesn't make me a racist

No, RC, going off about what the "typical black man" supposedly thinks and fails to understand makes you a racist.

Posted by tsm | January 14, 2008 11:12 AM

I can't believe you took the time to make an entire post centered around the fact that he pointed out a piece of writing that isn't proper by modern standards.

I guess if he had prefaced it with something akin to "WATCH OUT! HERE COMES SOME NIGGER TALK!" (or something more tame and believable) then there would be a point to this. But there isn't one. There is no point at all. You're just looking for stupid shit to get incensed with rage over.

Whoa. I ended that sentence with a preposition. Somebody get some rubber soles for my feet because I'm feeling pretty electric right now.

Posted by Brian | January 14, 2008 11:29 AM

brian, i honestly believe i could imagine that as a chappelle skit.

"watch out! here comes some nigger talk", said by chappelle while using his white man voice.

Posted by Bellevue Ave | January 14, 2008 11:53 AM

His grammar is fine, his spelling is what's incorrect. =)

Posted by wench | January 14, 2008 11:55 AM

most of these mo fos should wear their damn sheets to the next slog get 2gether.

internet just gets Sea-town's inner racist out.

Posted by SeMe | January 14, 2008 11:56 AM

@46, why not go play victim somewhere else.

Posted by Bellevue Ave | January 14, 2008 12:03 PM

And let you burn your cross in peace? Not today.

Posted by SeMe | January 14, 2008 12:13 PM

"Check yourself before you wreck yourself."


CM, I love you.

Posted by Samantha | January 14, 2008 12:42 PM

SeMe, do all white people that deny claims of racism by black people, especially Chaz's absurd racist claims, burn crosses?

what you're saying is, all white people must accept any accusation of racism by blacks otherwise they are racist.

at least thats what i get from your attitude.

Posted by Bellevue Ave | January 14, 2008 1:10 PM
Thanks for re-inforcing my (and many others) views of a typical black man. Nothing (not even their inability to comprehend language rules) is their fault, and just an ends to a means by white men trying to keep the black man down.

What the fuck are you talking about? Mudede's statements might be the typical views of a black intellectual, but they're certainly not the views of your average black man or woman. Do you really think that average African Americans give a fuck about linguistics?

Those black folk who don't know how to speak or write standard English have been failed by the U.S. school system, just like white Americans who refuse to stop saying "could of" or "irregardless."

Posted by keshmeshi | January 14, 2008 2:01 PM

Hey Bellevue Ave and Reality Check, congratulations on your shameless, unapologetic racism. And your pathetic denial of it. Well done.

But hey, no one will ever make you think or do anything you don't want to, right?

In fact, this is all in the name of freedom, right?


Posted by Irena | January 14, 2008 2:11 PM

hoo giv dis h8r da rite 2 say murderin sumbody 4 nothin is gainst da rulz? dun be h8in on muh rite 2 self expreshn beotch.

Posted by banjoboy | January 14, 2008 2:48 PM


Posted by banjoboy | January 14, 2008 2:50 PM

Irena, point to my racism. cite where i am being racist here. was it my avenue q plugs? was it my "go be a victim elsewhere?" yeah, thats so racist.

you can't cite any racist comment i've made, can you?

Posted by Bellevue Ave | January 14, 2008 2:54 PM

also irena, there has to be healthier hobbies than trying to always peg me as a racist and follow me from post to post trying to catch me doing something you think racist.

Posted by Bellevue Ave | January 14, 2008 3:00 PM

read "pygmalion" (sp?). george bernard shaw, y'all. AAVE has a point. so does MySpace. and so does CM.

Posted by from east of miss | January 14, 2008 3:05 PM

Ignorant people talk funny, is it any wonder they write funny also?

Posted by You_Gotta_Be_Kidding_Me | January 14, 2008 3:15 PM

hey bellevue ave, want to play a game? it's called find the racist! I'll go first:

Do you really think that average African Americans give a fuck about linguistics?, keshmeshi

Posted by some dude | January 14, 2008 3:56 PM

some dude FTW.

Posted by Bellevue Ave | January 14, 2008 4:03 PM

Um, I haven't bothered to read the comments, so this might have already been pointed out, but the problem with the quote isn't even with the grammar, but the spelling. Spoken, it would have been transcribed as "I understand protecting yourself, but mudering somebody for nothing is against the rules." It infact follows all the grammatical rules of standard English and isn't readily recognizable as AAVE or any other non-priviledged dialect.

Which just goes to show you that the kids these days can't even get 'improper' speech right. A true disgrace.

Posted by johnnie | January 14, 2008 5:10 PM

Adendum - you for your would be the only apparent marker of AAVE grammar. Missed that one the first time. Public school teaching starts to make you immune to this variations after awhile.

Posted by johnnie | January 14, 2008 5:12 PM

@61 - thanks! I came here to point out the same thing - the grammar of the sentence in question is fine, but the spelling is nonstandard. (I didn't read the rest of the comments either - 60 people fighting about "grammar"...)

Posted by rtw | January 14, 2008 5:22 PM

Should I make a snarky comment about throwing out my AP Style Guide? Bad grammar is bad grammar is bad grammar. I don't care what color a person is, there's good English and bad English. Sometimes intentionally bad English is really good English in disguise, but not in this case.

@43: It's no longer considered incorrect by many grammarians to end a sentence with a preposition, considering doing so often makes the sentence much more complicated than it needs to be.

Posted by Ryan | January 15, 2008 1:43 PM

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