Discussion Forum

Please consider registering
guest

Log In Register

Register | Lost password?
Advanced Search:

— Forum Scope —



— Match —



— Forum Options —




Wildcard usage:
*  matches any number of characters    %  matches exactly one character

Minimum search word length is 4 characters - maximum search word length is 84 characters

Topic RSS
Is "Ain't" Old-Fashioned?
Read the original blog post
Topic Rating: 0 (0 votes) 
2012/12/10
6:36am
Grant Barrett
San Diego, California
Admin
Forum Posts: 1411
Member Since:
2007/08/02
Offline
1
0

Has ain't gone out of fashion? Teachers have succeeded in stigmatizing the word, and it's also not such a common pet peeve any more. But perhaps the biggest reason you don't hear it as much is because it's no longer used in fiction and movies. Nowadays, it's more common to hear ain't used in certain idioms, like say it ain't so. This is part of a complete episode.

2013/03/04
4:49am
tatiana.larina
Member
Forum Posts: 7
Member Since:
2009/07/17
Offline
2
0

As usual, I am catching up belatedly with new episodes. But the discussion of "ain't"  brought to my mind Tom Wolfe's Bonfire of the Vanities where Lawrence Kramer, a Bronx DA, is very conscious of it and he uses on purpose "ain't" when talking with cops and "isn't" when talking with e.g. upper-crust Upper West Side suspects or witnesses.

2013/03/04
11:03am
Heimhenge
New River, AZ, USA
Member
Forum Posts: 698
Member Since:
2010/05/18
Offline

Same here, tatiana.larina. When I write an article for one trade magazine client, I often use contractions to make the tone more casual. But my editor would not allow the use of ain't and would certainly red-line it (unless it's part of a direct quote). Still, in informal writing, I use ain't without worries. But even then, a red flag goes up in my brain due to years of teachers telling me it ain't a valid word. One English teacher even had a small poster on her bulletin board that said simply: Ain't ain't a word.

By the way, I tried to  use Ngrams to trace the usage of ain't, but for some reason it replaces that with "is not." Not sure if there's a way around that, but if anyone knows how to avoid that kind of filtering by Ngrams, please enlighten.

 

2013/03/04
12:52pm
EmmettRedd
Admin
Forum Posts: 604
Member Since:
2007/08/23
Offline
4
0

Heimhenge said

Not sure if there's a way around that, but if anyone knows how to avoid that kind of filtering by Ngrams, please enlighten.

 

Ngrams offers the raw data via a link at the bottom of the page that I have reproduced here. Perhaps you can find get past their "simple" Ngram filtering by looking at the underlying data.

2013/03/04
4:27pm
RobertB
Member
Forum Posts: 406
Member Since:
2012/02/20
Offline

Ngram is inconsistent with what it's doing- it will modify ain't, aint, don't , but it will leave alone dont.

Once, I put an error message in the computer that said something like 'It ain't so'  and the users, all young, protested and made me put in a proper message. It was maybe 1990.

Old fashioned today ?  Maybe not.  Don't rap artists limit themselves to only aint  and dont ?

Forum Timezone: America/Los_Angeles

Most Users Ever Online: 161

Currently Online:
62 Guest(s)

Currently Browsing this Page:
2 Guest(s)

Top Posters:

Heimhenge: 698

Bob Bridges: 670

Ron Draney: 606

RobertB: 406

tromboniator: 355

Dick: 323

samaphore: 319

Robert: 305

dilettante: 286

Raffee: 235

Member Stats:

Guest Posters: 600

Members: 2964

Moderators: 1

Admins: 5

Forum Stats:

Groups: 1

Forums: 1

Topics: 3009

Posts: 15839

Newest Members: lethealgia, Lisamm, mcalter, documen, werpknarly, Beffa, rdt2, Afripol, kgraffius, jane egg

Moderators: Grant Barrett (1411)

Administrators: Martha Barnette (827), Grant Barrett (1411), EmmettRedd (604), Glenn (1537), timfelten (0)