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I am a writer of dark magical realism. All that is visible but rarely seen, all that is real but seems surreal, all that is dark yet radiates light.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010


The other day I was walking to the train station, when I was approached by a young man driving beside me.

"Hey, Miss Pank! Yo, Miss Pank!"  I was wearing a pink shirt, dutifully ignoring his calls as he hung his head out the passenger side window.

Unperturbed by my lack of interest, the young man continued.

"Mami, you one of the sexiest girls out here.  I see dem legs in dem shorts."  Um, shut up and tell me something I already don't know.  And while doing so, say it in Standard English.

He stopped his car and go out and to my shock--he was attractive: in good shape, tall, nice looking face.  Not something you see everyday, he had potential.

We conversed (yes, conversed not conversated) for a few minutes and I made sure to enunciate every word and pump up the vocabulary to see if he would code-switch and follow suit.  He didn't; he couldn't speak Standard English.

I love colloquialisms: I pepper my writing and speech with them everyday--when used correctly they give language color and add flavor.  But a little slang here and there, a regional accent or dialect is not the same as not being able to speak Standard English.

A man of any age that can only speak and write using the words "dem, dat, wut, uses double negatives, has a limited vocabulary and lacks knowledge of basic grammar," is so unattractive.  If you are under twenty-five, I'll give you a pass and hope you grow out of it.  If you are over the aforementioned age, grow up, you are not a kid.  It doesn't give the impression of youth speaking that way but rather: loser.

To the youth, I implore you, by the time your quarter-century mark hits, learn how to speak Standard English; and while doing so, please pull your pants over your ass--walking around with your butt hanging out looks like you have something to say: Insert here. 

That looks ugly and ridiculous!


  1. The uncles fathers brothers cousins etc bring that punk behavior with them when they get out of jail. Foolishly emulated. As for Mr. No Speak uh Standard English, I do believe brothas and sistas alike still get teased for "talking white" so I'm pretty sure if he ever did try and correct himself he would be teased. Peer pressure is a mofo.

  2. @preternatural: that's a shame. a culture that strives to be nonprogressive. what other culture prizes ignorance and eschews knowledge? he wasn't a kid either, so if peer pressure is the issue then, yea: loser.

  3. Miss Pank! Yo Miss Pank!

    I love it, your speaking my mind. Don't get me wrong a little "ebonics" here and there is great but you have to be able to switch it up in an instant, depending on your environment. Sagging pants on the other hand is SO SO PLAYED out. It was cute when I was 13-14 years old but that fad has since past us. If your still hanging on to that style, you not only need to learn how to speak standard english, but you need to acquire some fashion sense. Pull em up!

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  5. @shai: that's the problem the comparison to celebrities. if you are not hov don't pretend to be. i want a doctor that speaks like a doctor not a rapper, na mean.

  6. Lol...........once again you nailed it!!! This post is one of my favorites!!