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Tell Merriam-Webster Dictionary to Stop Promoting Discrimination and Stereotypes!!

This petition had 67 supporters


Most of us have been taught at a young age not to use “ain’t” because it is not proper English. Merriam-Webster Dictionary, a reference trusted by millions of people, defines “ain’t” as am not, are not, and is not. Sounds simple enough, but investigate further and you will see that its definition is offensive and prejudiced.

Definition of AIN'T:

  • do not:  does not:  did not —used in some varieties of Black English

The definition goes on to state, “although widely disapproved as nonstandard and more common in the habitual speech of the less educated…”

So the question becomes what is Black English, who speaks Black English and how does it correspond to the word, “ain’t”?

Definition of BLACK ENGLISH:

  • A nonstandard variety of English spoken by some African-Americans —called also Black English vernacular

We, the undersigned, request for Merriam-Webster to modify the definition of the word “ain’t”, removing the reference to Black English and its use by those less educated for the following reasons:

  1. Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary's description of “ain’t” states it is used in Black English, spoken by African Americans, and described as a nonstandard language used by those less educated which is offensive and discriminatory.
  2. “Ain’t” is currently one of the top 10% of words searched in the dictionary and used by people from many different ethnicities not just African-Americans.
  3. A word by definition should not be used in a disparaging manner to stereotype or incite prejudice towards a particular group of people.

Allowing even one single word to advocate prejudice will only perpetuate the type of discriminatory behavior that continues to affect African Americans and people who are perceived as less educated!!

We are concerned citizens.  Sign this petition today and let your voice be heard!! Together we can impact change to create a positive perspective free from discrimination!!! 

Words used carelessly, as if they did not matter in any serious way, often allowed otherwise well-guarded truths to seep through.”― Douglas Adams, The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul



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