Saturday, May 10, 2008

I get to use the word "ain't"

I never had a problem with my daughter using the word "ain't." We told her it was improper English, so she didn't use it. Now mind you, I grew up with the word "ain't." It was older than me, of course (oh, pardon me - it was older than I), but it didn't really bother me or pick at me or anything. We weren't close. Maybe I used it. Maybe I didn't. But it lived in my house.

Then my son came along. For a long time (relatively speaking, in an 11-yr old frame of reference) he didn't use the word "ain't." Then all of a sudden he'd pop out with it. "Since when did you use the word "ain't?" ('Cause in my day, as they say, they would always say (ooo, I like that) "ain't" ain't a word.) So a few times of that and he was good. No more ain't.

But me. I've paid my dues. I have good manners. I know how to "act like I've been some place" as they say. I don't say "ain't" in front of my kids. But sometimes - get this - I say "ain't."

Mmmm hm. Yup. Sure do. Now it's not a part of my every day vocabulary. I use it mostly for effect. I like to have effect. You have to reserve some things or they won't have any effect. My favorite line is, "That ain't gonna do it, sheriff." Test - who knows where that quote comes from?

I say "that ain't gonna do it sheriff" when one my kids doesn't take out the trash. (oops - busted. Guess I do say the word "ain't" in front of my kids. heh heh) Or if I want to make sure someone at work understands that I'm absolutely, unequivocally not going to do something, I might use the word "ain't." Have to watch who's around, though. Don't want to damage my professional image or anything, right?

Hey, you know what? Ain't. Ha. I said it. I have a couple of questions, though. Why do we say "the word 'ain't'?" (Well, I use that phrase. I don't know about you. But for the sake of argument...) And why, when it's a word we shouldn't use, do we "use" it instead of "say" it? You know. "Excuse me, Snicklefritz, we don't use that word." Ever notice that? Or is it just me, once again? I'd really like to know.

Oh, and just so you'll know, I really frown on the use of the word "ain't." Especially by anyone under the age of 18. Especially.

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