Actually it is. Unfortunately, some words in our language have faced great discrimination because of certain persons advocating a supposedly “purer” version of English, popularly known as “proper.” However, as a person with linguistic aspirations, I understand that there cannot truly be a proper dialect of a tongue, though through history many have esteemed one so highly as to consider it so, but this does not make it any better than the language of the old farmer out in the boonies.
But enough of this discourse. The purpose of this post is to inform you that it is indeed right and fitting to use the word ain’t in your everyday speech and writing. While many would consider this high treason, it really is logical if you consider it a contraction of am not. Think about it for a moment. He isn’t, you aren’t, and they aren’t are perfectly acceptable contractions. But how might you contract “I am not” after the same fashion? I ain’t, of course! Hopefully this satisfies those of you who would never utter the word, but I would also venture to say also that using ain’t with any subject is just fine, as long as you’re not trying to impress anyone.
So does this mean that now you’ll be hearing me say things like “I ain’t hungry”? No, it simply isn’t how I talk. However, I do not condemn any man who wishes to speak thus, and I hope that our tolerance in linguistic matters may expand as we realize that language is, after all, in continual development.
Many thanks to Dr. Goodword for his excellent article on this subject.
One thought to “That ain't a word!”
For a minute there, I was afraid I’d have to hear that treasonous word spoken in my house! Fortunately, my son respects my idiosyncrasies about the English language. :-)