Wednesday, October 10

Is it right, I arks you?!

Is it wrong to correct my East London pupils for using the term 'arks' instead of 'ask'? I maintain that 'arks' is incorrect, but I hear it so often nowadays that I fear it has become too deeply ingrained into the London 'street' dialect to be undone. They don't realise they're doing it, and their parents probably say it at home. I have also heard some pretty well-educated Londoners using it, teachers, lecturers etc.

I am so interested in the patois that my kids use that I might research it further. My first port of call, as always, will be Wikipedia.

also known as Tikkiny or less commonly "Hood-Chat" is part accent, part dialect, from around the mid-1990s, and influenced not only by British black urban culture, but by American rap music. This variant is used by the youth of all races as a 'street' patois, with clear U.S. influences (such as the greeting "Yo!"), but also Caribbean patterns such as "arks" (rather than "ask"). This dialect is used by all races. It can be heard in many parts of England, but especially the south."

I think they need to update their references to include 'innit', 'bare' (as in 'dat is BARE sick, blood!') and my new favourite 'issit'.

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Do Google searches and that...