58 Transcript — “3 Ways to Speak English”



Today, a baffled lady observed the shell where my soul dwells


And announced that I’m “articulate”


Which means that when it comes to enunciation and diction


I don’t even think of it


‘Cause I’m “articulate”


So when my professor asks a question


And my answer is tainted with a connotation of urbanized suggestion


There’s no misdirected intention


Pay attention


‘Cause I’m “articulate”


So when my father asks, “Wha’ kinda ting is dis?”


My “articulate” answer never goes amiss


I say “father, this is the impending problem at hand”


And when I’m on the block I switch it up just because I can


So when my boy says, “What’s good with you son?”


I just say, “I jus’ fall out wit dem people but I done!”


And sometimes in class


I might pause the intellectual sounding flow to ask


“Yo! Why dese books neva be about my peoples”


Yes, I have decided to treat all three of my languages as equals


Because I’m “articulate”


But who controls articulation?


Because the English language is a multifaceted oration


Subject to indefinite transformation


Now you may think that it is ignorant to speak broken English


But I’m here to tell you that even “articulate” Americans sound foolish to the British


So when my Professor comes on the block and says, “Hello”


I stop him and say “Noooo …


You’re being inarticulate … the proper way is to say ‘what’s good’”


Now you may think that’s too hood, that’s not cool


But I’m here to tell you that even our language has rules


So when Mommy mocks me and says “ya’ll-be-madd-going-to-the-store”


I say “Mommy, no, that sentence is not following the law


Never does the word “madd” go before a present participle


That’s simply the principle of this English”


If I had the vocal capacity I would sing this from every mountaintop,


From every suburbia, and every hood


‘Cause the only God of language is the one recorded in the Genesis


Of this world saying “it is good”


So I may not always come before you with excellency of speech


But do not judge me by my language and assume


That I’m too ignorant to teach


‘Cause I speak three tongues


One for each:


Home, school and friends


I’m a tri-lingual orator


Sometimes I’m consistent with my language now


Then switch it up so I don’t bore later


Sometimes I fight back two tongues


While I use the other one in the classroom


And when I mistakenly mix them up


I feel crazy like … I’m cooking in the bathroom


I know that I had to borrow your language because mines was stolen


But you can’t expect me to speak your history wholly while mines is broken


These words are spoken


By someone who is simply fed up with the Eurocentric ideals of this season


And the reason I speak a composite version of your language


Is because mines was raped away along with my history


I speak broken English so the profusing gashes can remind us


That our current state is not a mystery


I’m so tired of the negative images that are driving my people mad


So unless you’ve seen it rob a bank stop calling my hair bad


I’m so sick of this nonsensical racial disparity


So don’t call it good unless your hair is known for donating to charity


As much as has been raped away from our people


How can you expect me to treat their imprint on your language


As anything less than equal


Let there be no confusion


Let there be no hesitation


This is not a promotion of ignorance


This is a linguistic celebration


That’s why I put “tri-lingual” on my last job application


I can help to diversify your consumer market is all I wanted them to know


And when they call me for the interview I’ll be more than happy to show that


I can say:


“What’s good”




And of course …“Hello”


Because I’m “articulate”


Thank you.





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Essentials for ENGL-121 Copyright © 2016 by David Buck is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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