Cosbys Ebonics

  • Length: 1020 words (2.9 double-spaced pages)
  • Rating: Excellent
Open Document

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Text Preview

More ↓

Continue reading...

Open Document

Cosby on Ebonics
In 1996, the Oakland School District proposed the inclusion of what is known as "Ebonics" into its curriculum. Ebonics, or Black language, has been referred to in various ways over the years: "African American Vernacular English," "Pan-African Communication Behaviors," "African Language Systems," or "West and Niger-Congo African Language Systems." By any name, Ebonics, when studied over the years, has been proven to be a real language with its own phonology, syntax, morphology, sentence patterns, and double interpretations of words. The pattern that Ebonics speakers in the United States speak is highly similar to the patterns seen in both the Caribbean Creole and the West African languages. No one would have thought that comedian Bill Cosby would have an opinion on this subject, but as I read through essay I realized the logic and validity behind his paper.
In his essay Bill Cosby states that, "Ebonics be a complex issue," and it is, also he feels that it should not be taught in schools without studying the problems that could grow from teaching "an urbanized version of the English language." Cosby has a PhD in education, which increases his credibility. Cosby, being a black man, should not affect how his essay is read but it may be an issue to some. His use of humor makes the subject easier to comprehend and the entire piece more interesting. There is always a serious way and a lighter way to address any problem that affects many people and Cosby's choice to use humor makes more sense considering who he is in the public eye. Ebonics is a difficult issue to deal with, and Cosby makes a valid point that it should not be taught in school.
Cosby's credibility is not weakened because of his PhD in education if nothing else it is heightened. Being that he has this degree, he is more likely to obtain all the facts before forming a strong opinion on the subject. Having to teach Ebonics to anyone and everyone would be a problem and some people may not want to learn a new version of the language that has been taught for how many years. Cosby’s education creates a feel of an educated person making an educated opinion, not just anyone with a personal opinion.
A black man has just as much authority to discuss Ebonics as a white or Asian-American person. Just because Cosby is black does not affect the way Ebonics would be encountered in everyday occurrences.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

How to Cite this Page

MLA Citation:
"Cosbys Ebonics." 123HelpMe.com. 18 Jun 2018
    <http://www.123HelpMe.com/view.asp?id=60338>.
Title Length Color Rating  
An Analysis Of Media Coverage Of Ebonics: Incorporating Black English Into The Curriculum - Introduction The debate on Ebonics has virtually left the media spotlight. The proposal by the Oakland School District in early 1997 to use Ebonics to help African-American children learn Standard English met with much opposition. Few people supported the Oakland resolution which, backed by the Linguistic Society of America, acknowledged Ebonics as a language variety complete with its own syntax, structure, and rules of grammar. The media triggered a dialogue among Americans about the appropriateness of Ebonics in the classroom....   [tags: Ebonics, Myths and Realities]
:: 14 Works Cited
4963 words
(14.2 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]
Ebonics Essay examples - Ebonics INTRODUCTION The main topic of this paper is the USA, and I have chosen to concentrate on a fairly new issue, the language know as Ebonics. There have always been changes in the English language. This is how the language came about and evolved from standard British English to American English. During the last few years, as the world has become more sensitive to the rights of minorities, women, animals, etc. a new form of changes has taken place. These changes have become known as Political Correctness....   [tags: Culture American Language Rap Ebonics Essays]
:: 5 Works Cited
3753 words
(10.7 pages)
Term Papers [preview]
What is Ebonics? Essay - Our world is full of different cultures and languages. For many years America has challenged other forms of language besides English. With America becoming more diverse the country can no longer ignore the different languages within our society. The African-American culture has gone through a transition of what it means to be “black” in America and language is no acceptance. Africans brought to America did not understand English but over time many blacks learned the socially acceptable or proper form of language....   [tags: Language]
:: 6 Works Cited
1193 words
(3.4 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Essay on Is Ebonics a Language? - Ebonics Is (or Is Not) a Language Before getting into any great detail concerning the complexity of what language is and its relationship with the term Ebonics, Ebonics must first be defined. It is considered to be best described as “black speech” and therefore can be referred to as an “undefined language.” Many consider language to be a spoken tongue belonging to a nationality of people, so in general, and for the sake of clarity in this work, language is a general communication concept by which species relate to themselves and others....   [tags: essays research papers] 917 words
(2.6 pages)
Better Essays [preview]
The Ebonics Controversy Essay - The Ebonics Controversey What is the controversy over Ebonics about. The Internet offers diverse views on the Ebonics topic. Ebonics entered the lime light in December of 1996. The television and news media have made the issue unclear and have left many people wondering what the recent controversey over Ebonics entails. Long after the "six o'clock news" has comfused and abandoned the public on the issue of Ebonics, the Internet is alive with commentary. Sampled together, the pages present a social mood, conscience, or lack thereof....   [tags: Education Language Speaking Essays]
:: 8 Works Cited
5587 words
(16 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]
Essay on The Ebonics Debate - The Ebonics Debate Oakland, Calif., school officials took action last week to end the national war of words waged over the district's resolution on "ebonics" by revising the resolution at the heart of the controversy. But the ebonics debate in Oakland and beyond is likely to continue, observers said. After hours of internal wrangling, the district's seven-member school board voted unanimously to adopt the revised wording at a special board meeting on Jan. 15. Members of a district task force created to recommend ways to improve education for Oakland's African-American students wrote the original resolution that the board adopted unanimously on Dec....   [tags: Papers] 562 words
(1.6 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
ebonics Essay example - Ebonics means 'black speech' (a blend of the words ebony 'black' and phonics 'sounds'). The phrase was created in 1973 by a group of black scholars who disliked the negative connotations of terms like 'Nonstandard Negro English' that had been coined in the 1960s when the first modern large-scale linguistic studies of African American speech communities began. However, the term Ebonics never caught on amongst linguists, much less among the general public. That all changed with the 'Ebonics' controversy of December 1996 when the Oakland (CA) School Board recognized it as the 'primary' language of its majority African American students and resolved to take it into account in teaching them stan...   [tags: essays research papers] 1056 words
(3 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Essay about Ebonics - Ebonics The other day I was talking on the subject of Ebonics. I feel Ebonics should be a language. I mean black adolescents that are seen as stupid and non-educated mostly use it. The talk compelled me to do some extensive studying on the subject. Ebonics is the new academician&#8217;s jargon or buzzword for what we used to call &#8220;Black English.'; Ebonics comes from the root word Ebony that means black or dark. So since Ebonics is considered Black English I am assuming that the word is the only possible reason for calling it that....   [tags: essays research papers] 623 words
(1.8 pages)
Good Essays [preview]
Ebonics Essay example - The use of Ebonics in rap lyrics is becoming more and more apparaent in today's society because there are so many more people of all cultures and age groups beginning to listen to rap. More and more of the younger generations today are imitating the style of their favorite rapper; for example, today there are kids all around the world dressing up with baggy clothes, wearing their hats real low, and changing the way they speak so they can sound like their favorite rappers. The way that the use of Ebonics in rap has effected not only the American culture, but cultures all around the world shows just how popular Ebonics has become in today's society....   [tags: essays research papers] 452 words
(1.3 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Ebonics Essay example - EBONICS Ebonics, also known as Black English, is a nonstandard dialect spoken in many homes in the inner cities of America. This nonstandard language is often looked upon as low-class or lazy talk. This is not the case, however. Due to consistencies found in the dialect, there seems to be an order. It has been found that, when learning English, African-Americans adapted the language using some of the structure and rules of their own native tongue. This Black English has carried on through slavery and then freedom for hundreds of years....   [tags: essays research papers fc]
:: 1 Works Cited
823 words
(2.4 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]

Related Searches




It does however make the reader believe he may have more experience dealing with people who speak using Ebonics. Unfortunately, Ebonics is focused more on younger black people but they are not the only ones that use it. If it were taught in schools then more than just blacks would be using Ebonics to communicate. Race should not minimize a situation that affects everyone; Cosby being black does not matter in the issue of Ebonics.
Cosby's humor is expected in everything he does, unfortunately that is how he is viewed to the public. His use of humor to express his point of view only lightens the seriousness, but it is not weakened. The examples of the problems that may arise if Ebonics is taught to students make the issue easier to understand without disrupting the main point. When he states, "an Ebonics-speaking nurse hands a patient some eye drops and says, `Put'em in an ear fur near,'" this may be misunderstood and like Cosby says, "the non-Ebonics-speaking patient might fill his ear with Visine." This is a worst-case scenario but it is better to deal with these sorts of problems beforehand. The language barrier is already a large enough problem without introducing another barrier. Another example that was not in the essay is, "once." In English it means one time, but it may be read in Spanish as eleven that could cause a similar problem as Ebonics. The humor in the essay Cosby wrote makes a complex issue somewhat simpler to understand.
When dealing with this kind of concern a serious delivery of opinion may be just as effective as Cosby's humorous delivery. Cosby makes his point his way without losing any credibility by using his humor. If he had not used the humor it may have been harder to understand his personal opinion of the situation. Cosby would not have decreased the fact that Ebonics is a complicated issue and cannot be ignored if he had approached it in a serious manner.
As I read through Cosby’s essay I realized the logic behind his thoughts. Cosby feels that English is a hard enough language to learn as it is, and adding a variation to that language is pointless. I feel that Ebonics is a widely used form of speaking on the street that should stay on the street. I think that those who need to know and want to know Ebonics can learn it very easily on the streets where it originated but those who do not want to learn this useless form of English should not be forced to as part of their curriculum. Ebonics is gaining in followers but lacks the actual importance and universal concept of a language as it is strictly used in the more poverty stricken parts of the United States.
Cosby's essay addresses Ebonics with a stand that it should not be taught in school. Having a PhD in education helps him to be more credible, but does not change the massage he is delivering. His ethnicity may affect some people that would read this, but the main point of the text is Ebonics and how it would affect everyone not only blacks. Cosby being a comedian and actor is able to use his humorous personality to get his point across without lacking in integrity. Ebonics is a topic that must be dealt with; whether that be in a serious or humorous manner as in this particular essay does not alter the problem at hand. Bill Cosby makes a valid effort to display the fact that Ebonics being taught in schools would create more problems than have been examined.



Return to 123HelpMe.com