Why, no, Ms. Social Justice Warrior, I’m not appropriating Latino culture by eating a burrito.  This is a Pølse – a lefse (potetkakke, to be precise) wrapped around meat, vegetables and sauces to taste.

Not a freaking burrito.

Check your privilege.

We have offically hit Peak Social Justice:

In a piece for the Patriot, the school’s official student newspaper, Leah Power explains that although she has “attempted to build up a thick skin towards the insensitive jokes, stereotypes, cultural appropriation and overall ignorance” that she sees around her, she just cannot help but get very upset every time she hears someone who is not from the South use the word “y’all.” Power writes that she remembers traveling outside of the South when she was young and having to deal with “people joking about my accent and the stereotypes of the dumb, inbred, redneck hicks who made up the southern states,” but that “sometime in the last year or so, [‘y’all’ has] gone from a redneck pronoun to a socially acceptable form of addressing a group of people.”

Well, Ms. Power, all I can say is “d’uuuuuuuuuuuuhhhhhhh”.

Yes, it has.  And I’ve contributed to it.  And I will continue to contribute to it.

English is one of very few languages without a second-person plural.   In German, the singular you is “Du”; if you’re referring to more than one person, it’s “ihr”.  (In formal situations – another thing English lacks – it’s “Sie” and “Ihnen”).

But for English – since the demise of “Ye”, anyway – we have no word for second-person plural.

And there are times that causes problems.

Enter “y’all” – the southern dialect group’s great contribution to grammar.  It is a second person plural.  And unlike the Northern dialect group’s “Youse”, it’s  not phonetically awkward; it’s easier to go from an “L” to most other sounds than from an “S”.

So yes Ms. Power; by your leave (or even without it), I’m going to use “y’all”.   I’m also going to appropriate any parts of southern culture that suit me – Tom Petty, a sarcastic “yee haw” on occasion, Emmylou Harris, rockabilly, cheese grits, whatever.

And not just southern culture, either.  I will take whatever parts of other cultures and incorporate them into my life in any way I see fit; I’ll listen to R&B, Jazz and black Gospel music; I’ll incorporate words like “Boondocks” (stolen from the Philippines) and “Cojones” (Mexico) and others into my vernacular;  if something in another culture makes my life better and more interesting, I’m going to take it,and I’m going to dare you to do anything but whine about it.

Because that’s how all human cultures throughout history have formed, intermingled and grown.  Western European culture is the result of 2,000 years of various levels of mixture of Latin, Gallic, Frankish, Saxon, Anglic, Teutonic, Slavic,  Near Eastern, Nordic, Greek, and countless other cultures, customs and languages, none of which existed anymore in the original forms, because they all appropriated each other, and themselves, out of existence.   And it’s the same for every other culture on the planet – African, Asian, you name it.  The only exceptions are tribes in the impenetrable wilds of New Guinea or the Philippines that have gotten through these last 2,000 years with no other human contact.

So save us the jabbering about appropriation.  Every culture appropriates every other culture, always has, and always will.  Take what you need and leave the rest.

Or whine.

Your call.

9 thoughts on “Appropriate

  1. Can any SITDer guess when “all y’all” is appropriate as opposed to the simple y’all?

  2. Not difficult, Swiftee. “All y’all” means everyone in a group of people. “I’ll take on all y’all.”

  3. Language related…….maybe you’uns can interpret the Democrat ads for me. I don’t know where their opponents stand because they use strange words.

    “Marriage equality”
    “Equal pay”

    I love choice, marriage equality and equal pay, but I am against abortion, new definitions of marriage, and the gov’t dictating pay that doesn’t tie to performance.

  4. Clarify above, the Democrat ads use those words to attack the Republicans. How come the don’t mention specific issues using actual words and sentences that are in common use?

  5. Historically, English did have a formal second person pronoun — and it is YOU! Informally, hundreds of years ago, we used thee and thou the same way Germans use du/dich/dir. That’s why Shakespeare has commoners saying “thou” and kings saying “you”.

    Slightly related, I once worked with someone whose mother studied in Sweden during the 1960s and learned formal and informal forms of Swedish. When she went back for a visit twenty years later, people laughed at the way she spoke because she kept using the formal style, which had been fallen out of use in the meantime (probably due to some egalitarian notions). Also because otherwise, she talked like a 1960s Swedish hippie.

  6. Even though I left there over 27 years ago, after living in Houston, TX for over 8 years, I still use y’all frequently. Unashamedly I might add!

  7. DG

    I said this last week: you need to respond to this question, and respond to it in detail, before I’m going to entertain any more of your comments.

    Until you respond, and then respond to the responses, your comments will be held in moderation.

    It’s your choice; discuss and support one of your many baseless claims to the point where you realize and admit you’re wrong (or, who knows, maybe until you convince us you’re right), or lose your only outlet that has any readers.

    Your choice. It makes absolutely no difference to me which you choose.

    And it’s a shame, because your comment on this thread was a bigger howler than most.

  8. There is a rigidly structured society in which people are born into castes and appropriating the traits of a higher caste is a hate crime. But nobody seems to immigrate to India, it’s always the other way around. Weird that people who have lived under the system the SJW demands, reject it in favor of ours. To a less intensely over-educated person, that would be a red flag that there is a flaw in our logic.

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