AUGUST 24, 2010
As part of a multi million-dollar language program, the U.S. government is hiring “linguists” fluent in “Ebonics,” a black dialect that butchers proper English by omitting consonants, failing to properly conjugate verbs and selectively pronouncing vowels.
The controversial and grammatically challenged diction, also known as jive talk, has actually been classified as a legitimate language by the Department of Justice which annually spends $70 million on linguistic service programs. Now the agency is looking to hire nine “Ebonics” experts to work as translators for the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), according to Justice Department documents obtained by a web site dedicated to making these sorts of outrageous government deals public.
After obtaining a special “DEA Sensitive” security clearance, Uncle Sam’s new Ebonics gurus will work with the agency’s
In all, the DEA plans to hire 2,100 linguists fluent in 114 languages, including Spanish, Korean and Vietnamese. The Justice Department divides the 114 languages into “common languages” and “exotic languages” with Ebonics falling into the “common language” spoken in the United States category. The agency stresses the crucial role that linguists play in narcotics probes because they transcribe, verbatim, pertinent calls in foreign languages.
Problem is, Ebonics “ain’t even a real language,” according to a black columnist at a major newspaper, who wonders how proficiency is measured. “Who does the testing? What are the courses like? Last I checked “Ebonics” was not offered by Berltiz or Rosetta Stone. But I must say I’m impressed with the DEA’s moxy. Or is it chutzpah? As Mrs. Cleaver said, “Chump don’ want nah help, chump don’ get da help.”
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