Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Ain't ain't a word, Mr. Jones


There "ain't" no way Harry Jones just said what we think he just said, some in the crowd thought Tuesday night.
Jones, the Mecklenburg County manager, was presenting his recommended $1.39 billion budget to county commissioners Tuesday night when he interrupted his officious delivery with slang.
"We are faced with a new revenue reality," he told the crowd. "And we ain’t got enough money to fund services and programs at current or expanded levels."
We ain't got? Dang, guess we're SOL.
Who knows what Jones was thinking. Did he stumble into saying that accidentally?
We'll give him the benefit of the doubt and assume he meant to say that, as some sort of colloquialism. It was written in his prepared remarks, after all.
If so, bad idea. Our kids and our society have enough problems speaking proper English without the county's highest ranking government staffer saying "ain't" in his budget presentation.
What do you think? Inappropriate? Or get off his case as he has a little fun?

- Posted by Taylor Batten

6 comments:

grayisland said...

As a country, we only vote for 'good ol' boys and girls' who know how to talk like 'regular folks.' If you speak proper English, you're branded effite, arrogant, out-of-touch, etc. Like it or not, we live in a relatively anti-intellectual country. And anyway, if you don't what 'ain't' means, you probably ain't got a lick of sense, no how. George Bush gave folksy pandering a bad name, but face it, we only elect people who are able to hide their education behind canards, chestnuts and hoary aphorisms!

getserious said...

This is one of the dumber things I've seen posted on Charlotte.com. I mean, seriously, this rivals Tonya Jameson and Mary Newsome for absurdity.

Is there any question?? CLEARLY if he wrote it in his PREPARED REMARKS he said it intentionally. And then on to the why...OBVIOUSLY it was done for RHETORICAL EFFECT! Shocking! I think it would be more harmful for children to hear speech not directed at making a point (and just blathering on aimlessly-even if the diction and grammar is perfect-and there is plenty of that going around-) than to hear someone say something that is clearly intended to emphasize an important point in his speec BY MEANS OF ITS DEVIATION FROM AIMLESS BLATHERING.

I would recommend that this post be removed from Charlotte.com immediately and all record be removed.

We are all now dumber from having read what you wrote.

Realist! said...

In the days of Charlotte City Manager Bill Veeder, Mecklenburg County Manager Harry Weatherly and most all of their successors since those days -- this Jones' talk would be a huge embarrassment. But this incident shows how horribly ultra-political our County has become ... where good grammar and quality education are traded off for political savvy and apparently nothing else in terms of substance. So give Mr. Jones credit for his savvy, but take a moment to feel genuinely sorry for our County Commissioners, our County staff, our school kids, and for us the citizenry! If our County Manager comes across as someone who "ain't got no book larn'in," how can anyone respect him? Even worse, if anyone thinks that he purposefully wrote this trash to be cute or persuasive, Jones' rating drops farther still ... from "dumb" all the way to "dumbest"! Perhaps Mecklenburg County needs to start anew because in Jones' words in seeking a County Manager, for clearly they haven't got a County Manager worthy of the title or our trust!

Ray said...

If I used "ain't got" in a professional communication at my civilian job I would likely be 1) laughed at, 2) ridiculed and 3) not taken seriously. If I wrote "ain't got" in a memorandum in the Army I'd probably get an ass chewing and it thrown back in my face.

I'm not pitching one million plus dollar projects either.

Like it or not, if you 1) are educated and 2) want to be successful, you don't use slang in professional communications. It's that simple. Why? Because as soon as you do, people stop paying attention to your message and start paying attention to the fact that you haven't grasped the basics of grammar. If you can't master elementary school level subjects, how can you be taken seriously with anything above that level?

bridge said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Michael said...

Mr. Batten, I believe your time would be better spent proofreading your own corner of the world rather than picking this nit. Almost daily, I've seen grammatical errors in headlines, articles, and blog posts.

And don't get me started on "fair and balanced" reporting....