By Patricia Donaher, Seth Katz
The note ain't is utilized by audio system of all dialects and sociolects of English. still, language critics view ain't as marking audio system as "lazy" or "stupid"; and the proficient suppose ain't is on its deathbed, used purely in cliches. each person has an opinion approximately ain't. Even the grammar-checker in Microsoft be aware flags each ain't with a crimson underscore. yet why? during the last a hundred years, just a couple of articles and sections of books have reviewed the historical past of ain't or mentioned it in dialect contexts. this primary book-length assortment particularly devoted to this shibboleth presents a multifaceted research of ain't within the background and grammar of English; in English speech, writing, tv, comics and different media; and with regards to the minds, attitudes, and utilization of audio system and writers of English from more than a few areas, ethnicities, social periods, and dialect groups. such a lot articles within the assortment are available for the common trained speaker, whereas others are directed basically at experts in linguistic study-but with valuable motives and footnotes to make those articles extra approachable for the layperson. This number of articles on ain't therefore offers a vast viewers with a wealthy realizing and appreciation of the heritage and lifetime of this taboo note.
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Extra resources for Ain’thology: the History and Life of a Taboo Word
Ha', as shortened from has or have, has both an historical ancestry as part of the verb's original irregular stems, and an extensive colloquial history where the final consonant sounds are dropped off, so its contraction with not is logical. Thus, the analogy of movement from can't to han't works, as well as for the form don't, which also appears in D'Avenant's 1669 play. Han't, however, never really took off in these 17th century plays; by late century, it appears only three times in Congreve's Love for Love (Act II, scene viii, p.
Brainerd, Barron. (1989). The contractions of not: A historical note. Journal of English Linguistics, 22, 176-196. Burney, Fanny. (1784). Evelina. 2 vols. London, UK: T. & W. Lowndes. org. ). (1806). The Tatler; with prefaces historical and biographical. London, UK: Nichols & Son. Cheshire, Jenny. Variation in the use of ain't in an urban British English dialect. 3, 365-381. Congreve, William. (1756) Love for love. London, UK: J. & R. Tonson. org. (Original work published 1695) Corpus of Contemporary American English.
3 In this play, colloquial speech abounds and each character drops both consonant and vowels with great regularity, creating any number of unheard of contractions, including a version of ain't spelled e'nt found in Act IV, scene ii (1922: p. " It may well be that ain't, spelled as an't, needed time to separate itself from its early and extensive use as a contraction for both and it and and if it, as used often in all the plays I've mentioned, including the usual "an't please your ladyship" (Farquhar, The Beaux-Stratagem, Act IV, scene i, line 10, p.