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Wednesday, October 1, 2014

What "smh" REALLY Means (information & examples) Part I I

Edited by Azizi Powell

This is Part II of a two part series on the acronym "smh".

Click http://pancocojams.blogspot.com/2014/10/what-smh-really-means-information.html for Part I of this series. Part I has information and comments and a a few examples of "smh". Part II provides more information and comments about and more examples of "smh". Part II provides a portion of the information found in Part I and more examples of the use of "smh".

The content of this post is presented for cultural and etymological purposes.

All copyrights remain with their owners.

Thanks to all those who are quoted in this post. Thanks also to Whoissugar, the vlogger who is featured in one video that is showcased below.

****
PART II
WHAT IS "SMH" AND WHAT DOES IT MEAN?
"Smh" is an acronym for "shaking my head". At least to date, "smh" appears to be limited to written communication-particularly internet blogging and tweeting and (telephone) text messaging.

People usually write about something and then add the acronym "smh" at the end of that sentence. For instance, a person might write "Did you see that movie? The reviews said it told the true story about relationships between men and women. smh. Or, less often, "smh" is found at the beginning of a sentence or at the beginning of a short-hand internet/text message statement. For instance, "smh @"XYZ" movie.

Most of the time when people write "smh", they're communicating that they are figuratively shaking their head in reaction to the words and/or actions of another person. When "smh" is written, it expresses that the person feels or felt one or more of the following: disbelief about or negative judgment of what a person has said or done, for example the belief that the person is ignorant, or foolish, or a liar, or racist. "Smh" is also used to express exasperation, disdain, disgust, and/or anger because of those previously listed reasons or for other reasons...

A person might also write "smh" as a form of wry, self-deprecating sense of humor to note something that she or he realizes about herself or himself or about people (and animals or things) who or that they associate with. Most of the examples from whoissugar's two featured videos in this pancocojams series demonstrate that type of usage of "smh".

****
SELECTED INTERNET EXAMPLES OF "SMH"
These examples are presented in chronological order based on the date that they were posted on the internet. I've assigned numbers to these examples for referencing purposes.

1."10-22-2010, 12:28 PM#3
Lawlzorz
...Location: Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
SMH
@this thread"
-snip-
This post and the similarly written post
"10-22-2010, 12:34 PM#18
awwmad, ...Tronno, Ontario, Canada
Smh @ thrad"
were written in response to a thread whose initial post asked "Why do lots of black people say "SMH"?" http://forum.bodybuilding.com/showthread.php?t=128512063

2. "My colleague just showed up to work in a mesh shirt. SMH"
-snip-
From http://blog.conduit.com/2012/08/14/13-internet-slang-terms-you-need-to-know/ "13 Internet Slang Terms You Need to Know" Posted by Guest Blogger | on August 14, 2012. That internet page gave this definition of "smh": "SMH: “Shaking My Head,” an expression of disbelief or disapproval"

3. [Explanation: This was written in response to questions about what type of dancing is done in the video whose link is given below.]
"DIYSandMore, 2012
It's chicago, Illinois. the style is JUKE ... it's in the description... smh"
-snip-
This is a comment from the viewer discussion thread of the video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GrE-XTna4hs. This video is showcased in the pancocojams post http://pancocojams.blogspot.com/2013/11/examples-of-black-slang-in-youtube-juke.html.

4. "Kiya Mckee, 2013
all they girl in the blck is doing same thing smh"
-snip-
This is another comment from the same source that was cited in Example #3. This comment was also featured in that same pancocojams post.

Here's that sentence in standard American English: "That girl who is wearing black is only doing the same moves over and over again."

With regard to the lack of punctuation in that sentence and the abbreviaton of the word "black": I believe that the high value that is placed upon speed in internet writing and [telephone] texting has created new norms that greatly minimize the importance of capitalization & punctuation. Furthermore, those "new norms" mean that words can be omitted as long as the comments/message could be understood -similarly to the "You" being omitted when writing a command such as "Come here."

5. "KYRO , a year ago [2013]
This post was made in 2013 and Tiesto is filed under a Trance Artist. smh"
From
http://doandroidsdance.com/features/an-idiots-guide-to-edm-genres/
An Idiot’s Guide to EDM Genres posted by androids | March 28, 2013 [EDM = Electronic Dance Music]
-snip-
WARNING: That blog thread contains a number of comments that include profanity.

6. "ABC Dance Crew, 2014
"SHE REALLY NEED TO PAY RESPECT TO DA LGBT COMMUNITY CUZ DA WORD BANGI CAME FROM DA GAY COMMUNITY N SHE REALLY ACT LIKE SHE CREATED THAT WORD SMH)"
-snip-
From http://www.sazrah.co.uk/1/post/2013/04/are-you-banjicertified-meet-sharaya-j-missy-elliotts-new-artist.htm. That quoted comment refers to the Hip Hop artist Sharaya J. I included that quote in this pancocojams post http://pancocojams.blogspot.com/2014/04/the-changing-meaning-of-banji-banjee.html.

7. “@peoplemag: Olivia's back to straight hair so you KNOW she means business. #Scandal” so much wrong with that SMH
— Theownley Winner (@theownley) September 26, 2014, http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/09/26/people-viola-davis-tweet_n_5889344.html?cps=gravity
-snip-
The beginning of this tweet quotes a People Magazine tweet that was deleted by the magazine shortly after it was posted. Read more about this incident in that linked article.

8. "What they should have focused on is how great the premier of the show was!! Smh!! Ignorance"
Chamelle Lambert Mitchell, September 26 at 11:52am
-snip-
This tweet is a reaction to this People Magazine tweet:
'@people magazine
Waiting for Viola to break in with “You is kind. You is smart. You is important.

#HhowToGetAwayWithMurder
9/25/14 9:43 PM"
-snip-
That tweet was posted shortly after the one given above as eexample #7 of this post. It alluded to Viola Davis' role as a maid in the movie Help instead of reviewing the new television series in which she stars as a successful attorney. Shortly after that tweet was published, People Magazine deleted it and issued what the magazine considered to be an apology. Read more about this in that linked article.

9. "Stephanie Figueroa‏@steph_fig·1m1 minute ago
Don’t understand my fellow auxiliares who claim they aren’t loving the big city. I mean, waaaat??? Oh well. To each his own, I guess... #smh
7:05 AM - 1 Oct 2014 , retrieved from https://twitter.com/hashtag/smh

10. Kids these days... SMH.
-snip-
No date given retrieved on October 1, 2014 from http://onlineslangdictionary.com/meaning-definition-of/smh

****
SHOWCASE VIDEO AND SELECTED COMMENTS FROM THAT VIDEO

359-whoissugar's Christmas Sampler!!! Smh

.

whoissugar Published on Dec 25, 2012
READ ME! I DARE YOU!
Where am I online?
-snip-
Here are two comments from that video and whoissugar's responses to those comments. Note that whoissugar uses "smh" in a good humored, self–deprecating way.

[Explanation: In the video someone off screen is heard saying that Sug [Sugar]'s singing sounded like “dying cats”.]

ttknowles01, Dec 25, 2012
"LOL @ the dying cats!!! I'm glad I am not the only one who doesn't know all the words to the Christmas songs. A Merry Christmas to you and your family Sug!!!

**
whoissugarDec 26, 2012 in reply to ttknowles01
LOL!!!!! Honey, you got to own it EVEN if you don't know all the words. Smh

****
[Explanation: This is a good humored critique of Sug's singing in the video.]

DigitalDezinesCEO, Dec 25, 2012
"lol The songs remind me of the compilation album commercials from TV. Merry Christmas!"

**
whoissugar, Dec 26, 2012 in reply to DigitalDezinesCEO
"bwhhahahahaha!!! I wish I had mood lighting and a tacky Christmas sweater. Smh Thanks for the love!"

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RELATED LINKS
http://pancocojams.blogspot.com/2012/03/puttin-on-black-side-eye-videos.html "Putting On The Black: Side Eye"

**
http://pancocojams.blogspot.com/2011/09/what-kiss-teeth-suck-teeth-means.html "What Kiss Teeth (Suck Teeth) Mean"

****
Thanks for visiting pancocojams.

Visitor comments are welcome.

What "smh" REALLY Means (information & examples) Part I

Edited by Azizi Powell

This is Part I of a two part series on the acronym "smh". Part I provides information and comments about a few examples of "smh". Part II provides a portion of that information and more examples of the use of "smh". Part II will be posted ASAP.

The content of this post is presented for cultural and etymological purposes.

All copyrights remain with their owners.

Thanks to all those who are quoted in this post. Thanks also to Whoissugar, the vlogger who is featured in one video that is showcased below.

****
PART I
WHAT IS "SMH" AND WHAT DOES IT MEAN?
"Smh" is an acronym for "shaking my head". At least to date, "smh" appears to be limited to written communication on the internet (such as blogging, posting on social media sites, and tweeting) and telephone text messaging.

People usually write about something and then add the acronym "smh" at the end of that sentence. For instance, a person might write "Did you see that movie? The reviews said it told the true story about relationships between men and women. smh. Or, less often, "smh" is found at the beginning of a sentence or at the beginning of a short-hand internet/text message statement. For instance, "smh @"XYZ" movie.

Most of the time when people write "smh", they're communicating that they are figuratively shaking their head in reaction to the words and/or actions of another person. When "smh" is written, it expresses that the person feels or felt one or more of the following: disbelief about or negative judgment of what a person has said or done, for example the belief that the person is ignorant, or foolish, or a liar, or racist. "Smh" is also used to express exasperation, disdain, disgust, and/or anger because of those previously listed reasons or for other reasons.

In that regard, it appears to me that "smh" has the same or similar meanings as "kiss teeth" ("suck teeth") does among Black people in the Caribbean and in Africa. I think that "kiss teeth", "suck teeth" have and "smh" (usually) has an element of heightened impatience with the person whose comments or actions caused that person to make that gesture or caused the writer to add "smh" at the end of her or his comments (or at the beginning of those comments). But I think that there may also be an element of impudence in "kiss teeth"/"suck teeth" that I don't think is present in "smh".

I also believe that the reasons for writing "smh" are quite similar to the reasons someone would do a "side eye" or "eye roll". In addition, writing "smh" might also sometimes be motivated by the same reasons that people lightly smack their forehead with their hand (do a "face palm"), although it seems to me that a face palm is usually done because the person is exasperated with his or her foolish, stupid non-serious and non-offensive actions or those types of actions or words that someone else has done or said. Furthermore, I think that the face palm gesture is one that is most often done by non-Black Americans, and I think mostly Black females- write "eyeroll" or write "side eye" at the end of a sentence the same way and for the same reasons that people- I think at least early on, mostly African American people- wrote "smh". [I'll write more shortly about the racial aspects of "smh" and to a lesser degree about the racial aspect of "face palm"].

But in contrast to those other gestures, I think that probably few people who write "smh" take the time and use their energy to actually shake their head. Instead, it's my sense that writing "smh" is a way of conveying the action of shaking one's head (and saying "un un un" along with that gesture).

I listed above what I believe are main reasons why people write "smh" online or in text messages. [I confess I've not used that acronym myself.] However, a person might also write "smh" as a form of wry, self-deprecating sense of humor to note something that she or he realizes about herself or himself or about people (and animals or things) who or that they associate with. Most of the examples from whoissugar's two featured videos in this pancocojams series demonstrate that type of usage of "smh".

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THE AFRICAN AMERICAN ROOTS OF "SMH" & ESTABLISHING A MARKER FOR THE EARLY USE OF "SMH"
I believe that "smh" is used (or at least "early on" was used) more often by African Americans than by non-African Americans, including other Black people. Unlike "side eye", "eye roll", "kiss teeth", and "suck teeth", "smh" isn't an old-school (traditional) African Diaspora or African cultural term. Nor does it appear to be an old school, traditional non-Black term.

I don't know when or where "smh" was first used. However, 2009 is the earliest online mention of this acronym that I've found: https://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20090503231937AA75mhg. [hereafter given as Yahoo answers:smh]

That Yahoo query that was posted anonymously asks "is smh a black internet slang?"

i have no idea what it means, but i often see it in message boards and comment areas. the posters are always black people. can someone clue me in?”
-snip-
Notice the use of the term "message boards". The use of the term "message boards" instead of "blogs" provides some clue about when this "asker" saw "smh" used. Other blog posts that i've read in which commenters associated the acronym "smh" with Black people*, such as the 2010 blog thread on http://forum.bodybuilding.com/showthread.php?t=128512063 . Here's the initial post on that bodybuilding thread:
"10-22-2010, 12:22 PM#1
mikeyBarracuda
Location: Boca Raton, Florida, United States…
Why do lots of black people say "SMH"?
Yes I know what it means - "shake my head"
But it seems as if a large majority of black people say "SMH" on facebook, through text, etc.
(no racist)"
-snip-
I interprete "no racist" to mean that the blogger wants to assure people that he didn't intend his question or comments to be racist.)

Although Facebook began in 2004, I wonder what the research indicates about when a significant number of Facebook users -whatever that percentage would be- were African American. Beecause of the "digital divide", I wouldn't be surprised if that didn't happen until 2009.

Returning to that Yahoo answers:smh query page, there are six responses to that question "Is smh a Black internet acronym?" Each of those answers was published in 2009. Three of the commenters either self-idenfied as Black or their accompanying photograph was of a person who people would usually identify as Black. One of those three commenters indicated that she or he knew about the acronym "smh", but denied that it was or should be associated with Black people.* Here's that comment:
"msknowitall answered 5 years ago [2009]
"I'm black.. and I have no idea what it means..
Get over it..
Its just an internet slang..
That hasn't caught on yet.."
-snip-
Notice that this commenter writes in 2009 that this internet slang "hadn't caught on yet".

The comment that the person who posted the query ranked as the "Best Answer" was from Christy:
"It means
"shakin my head"
there you're clued in
Example:
Girl: What are you doin?
Boy: Smokin Crack..
Girl: Smh you're a loser
-snip-
Other blog threads also associate the acronym "smh" with Black people and it by the number of racist comments on most of those blogs that many if not all of their commenters are non-Black. Most of those blogs [including the bodybuilding:smh but not the Yahoo answers:smh blog also include profanity and sexually explicit responses.

Speaking of that 2010 bodybuilder:smh thread, one commenter on that thread Bannister11
…Location: New Jersey, United States wrote that
"I thought it was a message board thing but I noticed my black friends who don't frequent forums use it too."
-snip-
I wonder if that blogger meant telephone texting when he said that his black friends who don't blog use the acronym "smh". Perhaps I'm wrong. Maybe Black people (and other peeople?) use "smh" elsewhere besides the internet and telephone texting. I'd love to know more about this.
-snip-
*Note: The referent "Black" wasn't defined in that website or in other blog threads in which commenteers noted that "smh" was associated with Black people or commenters asked whether "smh" was mostly or entirely associated with Black people. In spite of the fact that a lot of Black people aren't African Americans, given the prepondance of Americans on the English speaking internet, and the fact that at least on some website (but not the Yahoo:smh site) a number of commenters indicated that they were from the USA, it's reasonable to assume that people meant "African American" when they wrote "Black".)

****
THIS USE OF "SMH" AS DEFINED ON INTERNET ACRONYMS WEBSITES
"smh" may mean other things that aren't related to a person's comments about or reaction to something that was said or done, such as the "Sydney Morning Herald" (newspaper). Here are two entries from the internet acronym website: http://pc.net/slang/meaning/smh

"SMH
Meaning: shaking my head

Type: Acronym

Rank: ★ ★ ★ Common

Usage: Online Only (chat, messaging, e-mail)

Comments
Expresses disapproval, disagreement, or speechlessness; used when something is so bad that you just shake your head; can also mean, "I disagree," "I can't believe it," or "Not again..."

Updated: December 19, 2012
-snip-
"SMH
Meaning: Smash my head

Type: Acronym

Rank: ★ ★ ☆ Average

Usage: Online Only (chat, messaging, e-mail)

Comments:
SMH can also be used to say you are smashing your forehead on your hand. It is similar to saying, "D'oh!" after doing something dumb.*
-snip-
I think that "smashing your forehead" is the same thing as "face palm", but I'm not sure about that. (One commenter on the bodybuilding:smh website wrote that "smh" is black people's way of saying "face palm").

Neeither that Internet acronym website nor any other such website that I visited on September 30, 2014] made any mention about "smh" being mostly or entirely associated early on or presently with any specific racial population.

****
SHOWCASE VIDEO AND SELECTED COMMENTS FROM THAT VIDEO

56-whoissugar's side-eye Saturday Volume 2...3 days early



Uploaded by whoissugar on Mar 8, 2011
-snip-
Her's a comment that includes "smh" from the video itself:
"SIDE EYE EVENTS...
A male co worker called me "afrocentric," "neo soul," and "black panther" all BECAUSE I AM NATURAL!! SMH He gets the side eye every time I see him..
-snip-
Here are two comments from that video along with whoissugar's responses to those comments:

Tissa Chelle, march 8, 2011
"you crack me up...I can 't stand it when I dont have a video to watch from you...but twitter helps...lol

**
whoissugar, Mar 8, 2011 in reply to Tissa Chelle
"@PureRHOty AWE! Honey, I'm still trying to get the hang of twitter. Apart of me still doesn't get it. smh.
-snip-
“Apart” = a part
Note that whoissugar used smh in her self –deprecating remark about not "getting" (knowing how to use) twitter.
This comment written in 2011 lends further credence to the view that ‘‘smh” is a relatively newly coined acronym.

****
Myeka324Mar 8, 2011•LINKED COMMENT
"You are so funny Sug! That's funny what your cat did with the rumba....lawd have mercy! And the iron on the "hell" setting? Lol to that as well...appreciate you too girl and hugs right back at ya! :o) this vid is too much"

**
whoissugar, Mar 8, 2011 in reply to Myeka324
"@Myeka324 Chile, I'm mad how he didn't smell my shirt burning. SMH!"
-snip-
Notice how this example of "smh" is also written in good humor, and not in anger, disbelief, disdain, or disgust, as a number of other examples of smh are written.

Many of the comments that will be featured in Part II of this series demonstrate those types of emotions. That post will be published ASAP.

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RELATED LINK
http://pancocojams.blogspot.com/2012/03/puttin-on-black-side-eye-videos.html "Putting On The Black: Side Eye"

**
http://pancocojams.blogspot.com/2011/09/what-kiss-teeth-suck-teeth-means.html "What Kiss Teeth (Suck Teeth) Mean"

****
Thanks for visiting pancocojams.

Visitor comments are welcome.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

My Comments About A "Black People Talking White" Video

Edited by Azizi Powell

This post showcases a video of a young African American woman holding forth about Black people labeling other Black people who "speak correctly" as "speaking White" and "acting White". This post also includes my transcripton of this video, my critique of her conclusions, and my critique of the woman's manner of speaking.

Hat tip to Scientistocrat, the diarist of a dailykos dairy where I first learned about this video:
http://www.dailykos.com/story/2014/09/26/1332727/-African-American-Woman-Beautifully-Debunks-the-Concept-of-Speaking-White

I'm unsure of the name of the woman who speaks in the video (who I refer to as the videographer. However, another dailykos commenter referred to her by the last name "Dillard".

I appreciate the opportunity focus on this subject and thank the videographer for raising that topic via her video.

All copyrights remain with their owners.

****
SHOWCASE VIDEO
Black Lady Describes How Speaking Properly Shouldn't Be Viewed As "Talking White"



retrieved from http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=6af_1411736298 Life Leak on September 27, 2014

****
TRANSCRIPTION

“Alright, Here me out. I just have to say-I saw this on a post on facebook. Um, and I wanted to talk about it on video.

There’s no such thing as “talking White”. Or, you know, you’re talking- speaking White. Um, it’s actually called “speaking fluently”-speaking your language correctly. Um, I don’t know why we’ve gotten to a place where as a culture, um as a race, if you sound as though you have more than a fifth grade education it’s a bad thing. You know, um, there’s nothing wrong with that. In other cultures, if you speak your language correctly and fluently, it’s actually admired. “Wow! This person’s e- This woman’s educated.” “This man is educated.” “Where did you go to school”. Um, this person took the time and had the drive to get it right, to speak correctly. Um, I find it, our culture is one of the few that frowns upon…personal evolvement. So I just ask that you think about that. I know that it’s something that we don’t like to talk about. But, um, having proper diction doesn’t belong to the Caucasian race. I, that really gets under my skin. Having proper diction is what you’re supposed to do. And I have to say if you only speak one language- I can understand if you’re a bilingual, that’s different. Um, but if you only speak one language, even like your native tongue, and you don’t speak it correctly that’s not cool. If you don’t know how to enunciate your words, that’s not cool. It shouldn’t be frowned upon.

So let’s stop saying that, you know, this person talks White, acts White. Think about what you’re saying. Because, you know, in the same conversation, you say that the White man is bringing us down, but you don’t realize that you’re actually elevating this race, by saying that they are the only ones that are allowed to speak as though they are educated. And that’s not right.

Think about it."
-snip
*Transcription by Azizi Powell. New paragraphs were added as I
heard them given. Additions and corrections are welcome.
-snip-
MY CRITIQUE ABOUT THE WOMAN'S CONCLUSIONS
Before critiquing the woman's manner of speaking, I feel that it's important to note the sub-title for that video that appeared on that Live Leak website. That sub-title is "She be speakn da truf.”

I assume that the woman who made that video didn't add that sub-title and may not have approved of it if she had been asked to do so. I believe that that sub-title treats with derision African American English and those who speak that form of English, whether we speak it some of the time or all of the time, and whether we purposely speak or write forms of African American Vernacular English some of the time or all of the time.

I should note that I'm assuming from the woman's diction that she is African American although "Black people" is never defined by her or by that website in which the video is embedded. I'll add more about the videographer's diction and her attire in subsequent comments.

I should also note that I know nothing about the Live Leak website. Perhaps derision is what they do. It certainly seems to me that many of the comments posted to that discussion [I didn't read all of them] were racist and sexist -such as those that focused on the woman's low cut t-shirt. Perhaps those are the kinds of commenters who frequent that site. But I wonder if that Blackfaced minstrelized-like sub-title helped give permission to that website's commenters to "show their true colors". Also, it seems to me that the judgmental, "I'm better than they are" tone and words of that Black woman who spoke in that video also gave permission to the racists- if not the sexists- to "do their things".

To be clear, "She be speakn da truf” is an example of one form of African American Vernacular English. Some people who use that form of African American English do so much if not all of the time. However, many African Americans who might say (or write) "She be speakn da truf" do so consciously and purposely, code switching from what the videographer refers to as "correct English" - that I refer to as "Standard American English". In other words, we know how to and do speak and write standard American English, but we sometimes use that form or other forms of African American Vernacular English [AAVE] for various reasons, but particularly when we are "chillin" (relaxing) in informal settings.

In other pancocojams posts I've presented my theory that on certain YouTube comment threads some African Americans will purposely use "downhome", "old school" (meaning "well regarded old fashioned) religious words such as "Lawd have mercy!" and newer coined Black talk such as "Sang it sister!" and "He be killin it" as ways of signaling to others that they are Black, and as a way of celebrating that blackness. I call this conscious, purposeful use of what is considered to be "incorreect English" and "Blackisms" to be "Putting on the Black". Here's a link to one pancocojams post on this subject: http://pancocojams.blogspot.com/2012/03/puttin-on-black-online-black-talk-code.html.

Click links found in that post and/or that "putting on the Black" tag and the African American English tag below for links to those pancocojams posts.

Much of my problems with this video is the woman's tone and her generalizations. I got the sense that this woman thought more highly of her ability to speak correct English than she actually does. More on that later. But I also think that this woman unfairly categorizes people who speak AAVE much or all of the time as unintelligent (although she didn't use that word-She said "uneducated"). I certainly believe that it is highly beneficial for people in nations where English is the official language (and elsewhere) to know how to "correctly" speak what mainstream societies call "Standard English". But I believe that that people may still be intelligent if they live in English speaking nations and they don't ever speak the way that upper class White people decided was and is correct.

{Confession: That last sentence is an edited version because what I wrote before was difficult for me to understand and probably wasn't what anyone would say was "correct English".)

At the end of her comments the woman said "So let’s stop saying that, you know, this person talks White, acts White."
-snip-
I agree with that sentence, in part, because Black people shouldn't use "acting White" or "talking White" as a put down.

However, I dislike that comment because it generalizes White people.

[This was also an editing change because I typed too fast and thought that I had written something that wasn't there and what was there completely changed the meaning of what I wanted to say. My apologies to previous readers.]

All White people don't speak so-called correct English. And some Black people who have been told that we speak or write like White people -and I've been told that a number of times off the Internet and on the Internet- may also proficiently - or more than proficiently speak and/or write other languages. (Unfortunately, I can only speak and write English- Standard English and some forms of African American English.)

However, languages don't have any color-not even African American Vernacular English. People who aren't Black are able to speak AAVE quite well, at least potentially given knowlege of and experience with speakers of that language. Also, all White people don't talk the same and don't act the same. So what does "talking and acting White really mean?

After saying "So let’s stop saying that, you know, this person talks White, acts White" the videographer continued with these statements:
"Think about what you’re saying. Because, you know, in the same conversation, you say that the White man is bringing us down"...,
-snip-
I think that part of this woman's problem (or part of my problem with her) is her generalizations - Note my comments above about when she says "White people".

Another example of her generalizations is her conclusion that every Black person who might believe that there is such a thing as "talking White" and "acting White" also believes that "the White man" is bringing us down." That phrase "the White man" sounds so 1960s to me. In the year 2014, you would think that she would say "institutional racism" (or "structural racism") is bringing us down.

Continuing her comments, that woman said "but you don’t realize that you’re actually elevating this race, by saying that they are the only ones that are allowed to speak as though they are educated. And that’s not right."
-snip-
Putting aside the fact that White people speak other languages besides English, I think that apart from formal settings people sould be "allowed" to use other forms of standard English rather than that form that have been deemed to be "correct English" by "the powers that have been and largely still are". And even in formal settings, other forms of English including some forms of fAAVE are becoming more acceptable, not to mention that African American vernacular continues to be appropriated by non-Black people and is merged into Standard American English.

Returning to an earlier portion of that woman's video comments, she said "... but if you only speak one language, even like your native tongue, and you don’t speak it correctly that’s not cool. If you don’t know how to enunciate your words, that’s not cool. It shouldn’t be frowned upon."

"That's not cool" is an example of African American vernacular that has been appropriated by Standard American English. And like most Black slang that has been merged with Standard American English, it's no longer "cool" to say "cool". Other words long ago have taken "cool's" place to mean "up to date with the latest Black urban culture (such as "sick" or "def"- although African American young people -who are the prime drivers of Ameerican Slang- may have already put those words aside and moved on to other words. But given that woman's rather high handed, judgmental tone and her position that only correct English is the bomb ("the bomb" being another old way of saying that "correct English is the best thing rhat was ever created), isn't her use of any Black slang word more than a little incongruent?

And, did anyone else notice that although she surely didn't mean to say this, because of her sentence structures, the woman's next two sentences actually mean "It shouldn't be frowned upon if you don't know how to enuciate your words."

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MY CRITIQUE OF THE WAY THE WOMAN'S MANNER OF SPEEAKING
I got the sense that the woman in the video thinks more highly of her way of using what she (and many others) consider to be "correct English" than she should. Perhaps I should rephrase that to say that I don't think that that woman is as skilled a public speaker as she may think she is. I've already written that I have problems with her tone. I think she comes across as a snob, and that's definitely not the same as saying that someone talks or acts White. I've also already noted that some Black people (and some White people) have said that I talk (and write) White, although I've not gotten that I act White, at least I've not directly heard this. As to my critiquing of this woman's (I wish I knew her name!) video and her manner of enuciation, I base it on my years of being "one of the only one" or "the only one" (Black person) in high school classes, college classes, and later post-graduation from school, the only one on non-profit state and international child adoption boards and committees, and on county public health boards. (I was also the "only one" on an international online folk music blog). Those experiences gave me plenty of opportunities to learn much about what purports to the "correct usage of Standard American English".

That said, here are my problems with the ways that that videographer talked (given in no particular order) :
* She often used subsitutes for pauses ("you know", "um", "ah").

* She often pauses mid-thought [mid sentence] and added some other comment. That is sometimes shown in the transcript as words between two hyphens.

* She pronounced the word "a" as "ah". This is a very common way of pronouncing that word among African Americans and I believe many other Americans. However, since she is holding forth on the topic of speaking "correct English", you would think she would pronounce that word, and other words the way that people who hold that view think is correct.

* She didn't always pronounce the "t" at the end of words (such as the word "that").

* She didn't aways pronounce the "g" ending in words

* In the sentence “Having proper diction is what you’re supposed to do”, it seemed to m that the word “supposed” was pronouced “sposed”.

* In her sentence, "I have to say if you only speak one language- I can understand if you’re a bilingual, that’s different", "a bilingual" is not correct English.
-snip-
I'll end there, although I could say more.

I'm curious what you think of this video and my comments. If anyone knows more about the videographer, please share that information. If she is interested in responding to my comment, I'm also interested in that exchange.

Also, I've included a comment below a quote from Levar Jones, the
unarmed man who was shot by a South Carolina highway patrolman when that (now former) patrolman stopped Jones for failing to wear his seat belt while driving.

Aside from the serious sociological and cultural aspects of that story, I believe that quote is a good example of a combination of Standard American English and African American Vernacular English.

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Heavenly Kingdom Kids - "Nagwode" & SuperKids - "Nagode Allah"

Edited by Azizi Powell

This post features videos of two Nigerian children's groups singing a song praising God. The song by Heavenly Kingdom Kids is entitled "Nagwode". The song by SuperKids is entitled "Nagode Allah". According to a commenter on the discussion thread of the
featured Heavenly Kingdom Kids video "They're singing nagwode allah, which means thank you God in the Hausa language(thank you- nagwode) and Allah. They are Christians from the igbo tribe of eastern Nigeria. In Nigeria, we sing and praise God in different languages regardless of where you come from." [Hilly Thomas, August 2014].

I think that "Nagode" is another way to spell the Hausa language word "Nagwode". The SuperKids group is also Christian.

Although these two songs have a similar title and both refer to God using the Hausa word "Allah" (which comes from Arabic)*, the songs have different lyrics and tunes.

*Most Hausa people are Muslims.

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The content of this post is presented for cultural, religious, and aesthetic purposes.

All copyrights remain with their owners.

Thanks to Heavenly Kingdom Kids and SuperKids for their musical legacies. Thanks to all those who are quoted in this post, and all those who are featured in these videos. Thanks also to the publishers of these videos on YouTube.

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INFORMATION SOUGHT ABOUT THESE GROUPS
I'd like to add more information about both of these groups, such as when the groups started, the names of the members of each group,
and their current ages of these singers.

Please share any information that you know about these groups.
Thanks! 

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FEATURED VIDEOS

Example #1: Nagwode - Heavenly Kingdom Kids



CHORDSvision Page, Published on Mar 20, 2013
-snip-
I believe that the main language for this song is Igbo. However, the lyrics that are transposed on the video screen are
primarily given in English.

Here are the introduction, the chorus, and the verses of that song.Additions and corrections are welcome.

LYRICS: NAGWODE [Thank You]
[as sung by Heavenly Kingdom Kids]

Introduction:
Lead singer: Praise the Lord!
The rest of the group - [Hallelujah!]
The Lord is good.
[All the time].
Thank you ooo [oh]

Chorus:
Thank you Lord Jesus, thank You.
Thank You, thank you, thank You.
For what You have done for me.
That's why I am saying thank You.

Muche Nagwode Allah.
Thank you Lord Jesus, thank You.
For what You have done for me.
That's why I am saying thank You.

[Repeat the chorus several times with the lead & group parts]

[Spoken:]
Praise the Lord for He is good.
For His mercies endureth forever.
For what You have done for us, Jesus.
That's why we say, "Come and receive Glory".
We are saying "Thank You Sir, You've done well.
Receive all praise in Jesus' name, Amen.

[Sung]
Lead singer - Thanks, You've done well.
Group - [My King, You've done well.]
Thank You.
Thank You, Lord Jesus, thank You.
For what You have done for me.
That's why I'm saying "Thank You."

Chorus [repeated several times]

[spoken]
Lead - Praise the Lord!
Group - Halleluya!
Lead - Our Lord is good.
Group - All the time.
Lead - All the time
Group - Our Lord is good.
Lead - Thank You, Jesus, for what You have done.
Lead -Children.
Group- Yes, Aunty.
Lead - Do you like this?
Group - I like that.
Lead - Do you like this?

[repeat those last two lines several times]

Chorus [repeat several times with the lead & group parts]
-snip-
The words "Thank You Sir' and "Thanks, You've done well" aren't how most American English speakers would phrase those sentiments. However, Psalms 126-3 says "God has done great things". Those wordd mean the same thing as those lyrics from the song "Nagwode".

Also, "The Lord is good/ All the time" that is given as a call and response lines is very similar to the call & response saying among African American Christians. The first part of that saying is "God is good". People respond to those words by immediately saying "All the time".

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Example #2: The Superkids - Nagode Allah

thesuperkids, Published on Feb 21, 2014
-snip-
A summary of another one of this group's videos indicates that the lead singer Adaeze is seven years old (2014).

Here's my transcription of this song:
(Additions and corrections are welcome.)

LYRICS: NAGODE ALLAH
(as sung by SuperKids)

Chorus:
Nagode Allah (Thank you, God]
Forever You are my number one.
Allah [God]
Nagode Yesu (Thank you, Jesus]
Forever You are my number one.
Yesu [Jesus]

[Repeat the chorus a number of times.]

Thank you, Father.
Thank you, Jesus.
Thank you, Holy Spirit.
You are my teacher.
You are my writer.
You are the voice that sings my songs.

Chorus

Yes, I like butterflies
Colors like rainbows
Shining like super stars

[repeat]

Thank you.

[Instrumental]

Bless my daddy.
Bless my mommy.
Bless the friends all over the world.

Bless my teachers.
Bless my preachers.
Bless my friends all over this town.

Chorus

Thank you Jesus for caring for me.
Thank you Jesus for blessing my mommy and my daddy.
Thank you Lord Jesus for blessing my brothers and my sisters.
Thank you for all my friends all over the world.
Lord, please bless us.
Nagode [Thank you] Jesus.
Jesus Lord, You're my number one!

Nagode Allah (Thank you, God]
Forever You are my number one.
Allah [God]
Nagode Yesu (Thank you, Jesus]
Forever You are my number one.
Yesu [Jesus]

Nagode Allah [Thank you, God]
Forever You are my number one.
Allah [God]
Nagode Yesu [Thank you, Jesus]
Forever You are my number one.
Yesu [Jesus]

Allah [God], Thank You
Yesu [Jesus], thank You.
Allah [God], thank You.

[repeat]
-snip-
* These lyrics are from the introduction, chorus, and verses of this song that are transposed on the video screen. The chorus is repeated throughout the song.

Other videos of The SuperKids give the group name as "Adaeze and the Superkids". Adaeze is the lead singer of the SuperKids group.
"Adaeze" is an Igbo female name that means "princess".

The official website of that group [http://www.superkidsmusic.com/index.htm] lists "Adaeze" as the lead singer, provides her full name and her parents' full names. These are Igbo language names. Also, a commenter on the discussion thread of
another video of this group indicates that the subtitles for that song are in the Igbo language. Given all of that information, I believe that the members of the SuperKids group are Igbos from Eastern Nigeria.

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