• 20th October
    2014
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  • 19th October
    2014
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  • 19th October
    2014
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theyuniversity said: We apologize for any offense taken by our post, and we’ve deleted it from our blog. Those of you who were offended by it should notify someecards and tell them to delete it from their site as well: someecards.com/usercar…

Dammit, theyuniversity, this is exactly what I didn’t want to happen. Merely replying to my post (that will not be seen by the majority of your followers), deleting your original post, and not addressing it on your blog just sweeps the issue under the rug. Telling someecards to delete it won’t help because people will continue to generate crappy user-generated ecards (both the crappy meaning that they’re offensive and crappy meaning that they’re just not funny). This thing is on the internet. It’s not going anywhere. But we can talk about it.

I’m disappointed by the deletion. I just wrote out a really long-winded post to someone who claims to know you personally, YUNiversity, saying that you are reputable and good. Now I kind of want to eat those words. If you actually want to do right about all of this, write a post about it and publish it to your blog. Otherwise, you just should have ignored it—this half-assed thing that you’ve done actually comes across as quite insincere and ultimately, it really doesn’t help people learn anything.

  • 19th October
    2014
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No matter what a person says, another is always offended. I applaud you for conducting yourself with so much class when dealing with sensitive people who can see nothing but the negative side of everything. You shouldn't have to apologize for their sake. Keep up the great work!

Asked by: Anonymous

That’s why I often don’t respond to messages I get about people who are offended about something. But in this case, since two people brought the AAVE “ask” vs. “ax” issue to my attention, it was clear to me that there were likely others who felt the same way who simply didn’t say something.

But yeah, there are going to be people who are now offended that I’ve dealt with today’s initial offense. And those are the ones I need not worry about, even though I’ve politely chosen to respond to some of them.

  • 19th October
    2014
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lol catering to SJW race-baiting nonsense? Hilarious. The perpetually offended thank you for bowing down to them.

Asked by: Anonymous

ihavenerdproblems:

englishmajorhumor:

We can agree to disagree, but I don’t really see that as the case in this instance.

From time to time, I do receive an ask, often anonymous, complaining about how something I’ve posted is offensive in some way. In many cases, after much consideration on my part (and in some cases, after conversations with peers and even professors that I trust), choose not to respond to those complaints because they either involve askers/anons being vicious or blowing something out of proportion.

The fact that I received multiple relatively polite asks about this “ask” vs. “ax” and AAVE issue suggests that this was something that I needed to address. I did not get the vibe that these askers are people who are “perpetually offended,” because they weren’t wildly outraged in their messages to me. I could have chosen to ignore them, but after careful consideration, I decided that their voices and stances merited my attention.

Fun fact: I bow down to no one. That includes you.

To keep it simple, “ax” is completely incorrect in terms of traditional and/or high academic English. Unless, of course, you are referring to the chopping tool. It may be acceptable in a dialect, but it is not from a formal standpoint. I applaud you, englishmajorhumor, for handling the anonymous trolls so gracefully. 

I feel as though you’ve presented us with something of a non sequitur, ihavenerdproblems (at least based on the fact that you’ve given this response to my answer to this particular troll—who is actually a troll, unlike the two people who first brought the AAVE aspect of “ask” vs. “ax” to my attention, who are NOT trolls), so I want to make something clear, because I want others to see it (and not because I want to make you look bad—I truly do not):

The whole “ask” vs. “ax” distinction is only referring to spoken pronunciation of “ask”—no one is actually writing “ax(e)” in any case that “ask” is being written.

And as the article I posted about Chaucer earlier suggests, it’s not just a dialect thing, and it’s not even necessarily a purely informal thing. It’s a feature of spoken English that’s been around for centuries.

  • 19th October
    2014
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Regarding the whole "axe me" brouhaha, I respectfully think you went too far in criticizing The YUNiversity. For starters, I know The YUNiversity personally, and they are the farthest thing from racist or insensitive. If you even looked for one minute on their Twitter TL, you'd realize that. Also, calling them "a fairly reputable grammar blog" cheapens all the good they've done over the years. Keep in mind that they have a very large following of loyal and grateful supporters. ^^

Asked by: Anonymous

I wasn’t trying to kick The YUNiversity under the bus, and if my wording suggested otherwise, I apologize. The YUNiversity wasn’t even the focus of that post, and I wasn’t trying to blame them for my mistake. I like The YUNiversity—they post a lot of quality stuff, and said stuff helps me generate content for this blog. However, because they do such a good job, I tend to trust that they won’t screw up and that they know better than do post something that might be legitimately controversial. But like me, they made an error of judgement. I do not blame them for the fact that I made my own error of judgement. But when I initially queued the post, seeing them as the original post-er, probably triggered some sort of “if they did it, I can do it,” response in my mind—seeing their name and seeing the number of notes it had suggested to me that it would be a “successful” post—that people would like it and that it would not be controversial. I’m having trouble fully articulating the distinction between what would be blaming them for this happening (which I am genuinely not trying to do) and just saying how seeing their name influenced me in my decision to reblog and queue, but it’s a distinction I hope that you and most readers will be able to grasp, even if my articulation of it is less than graceful.

My post did not try to claim that The YUNiversity is racist or insensitive. I am certainly not trying to claim that. I’ve looked at their Tumblr and I’ve looked at their Twitter and I’ve shared their content both on here and on behalf of my college’s writing center. They just made a mistake, one that was unfortunately easy to make. If the YUNiversity, as you claim (and I believe) is “the farthest thing from racist or insensitive,” then it is actually important that they be made aware that they made a mistake.

I don’t see how calling The YUNiversity “a fairly reputable grammar blog” cheapens what they do, although I guess my use of “fairly” might, to some readers, might be acting as sort of a crutch between saying, “they rock” and “they suck.” (They definitely don’t suck, but the “ask” vs. “axe” thing isn’t the first thing I’ve seen them mess up. But overall, the amount of good content they have far exceeds any problematic content they’ve put out there.) The YUNiversity is reputable in that they have numerous followers (who really like them) and that they post content that is both amusing and informative. I consider myself among their following; as I have mentioned, I enjoy and reblog their content. However, because they have such a large following, they need to exercise reasonable judgement when they post something. With the “ask” vs. “axe” post, they erred.

If the YUNiversity has any beefs with me or anything I have said, I encourage them to reach out to me directly. It would probably lead to a much more productive conversation than you reaching out in a sense, on their behalf. Please do not feel hurt on their behalf; you don’t need that and they don’t need that.

  • 19th October
    2014
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lol catering to SJW race-baiting nonsense? Hilarious. The perpetually offended thank you for bowing down to them.

Asked by: Anonymous

We can agree to disagree, but I don’t really see that as the case in this instance.

From time to time, I do receive an ask, often anonymous, complaining about how something I’ve posted is offensive in some way. In many cases, after much consideration on my part (and in some cases, after conversations with peers and even professors that I trust), choose not to respond to those complaints because they either involve askers/anons being vicious or blowing something out of proportion.

The fact that I received multiple relatively polite asks about this “ask” vs. “ax” and AAVE issue suggests that this was something that I needed to address. I did not get the vibe that these askers are people who are “perpetually offended,” because they weren’t wildly outraged in their messages to me. I could have chosen to ignore them, but after careful consideration, I decided that their voices and stances merited my attention.

Fun fact: I bow down to no one. That includes you.

  • 19th October
    2014
  • 19
I just wanted to congratulate you for handling the "ask" vs. "ax" thing maturely. You made a mistake, and when people (politely) pointed it out, you handled it graciously and politely, making sure to highlight the importance of this issue rather than deleting it completely (which I agree is the right thing to do, because I had honestly never thought about it being a part of AAVE until I saw your response). So basically, thanks for being a decent human being (and thanks to the polite anons)!

Asked by: hailedloco

Thank you for your kind words—I appreciate them. I’m glad this is able to become an opportunity for people to learn something

  • 19th October
    2014
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  • 19th October
    2014
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Folks, I want to apologize for allowing an earlier post mocking the use of “ax(e)” instead of “ask” when speaking to be posted.
I had not considered that the use of “ax” in place of “ask” tends to be associated with AAVE because it’s one of those things that been around for hundreds of years, which is something that did come up in my linguistics class. (While we did talk about AAVE in my linguistics class, how the “ask” vs. “ax” issue came up in context of things people people have been saying for hundreds of years and not in the context of AAVE is beyond me.)
I try to be as descriptivist as possible, but in my mission to appeal to as many people as possible on this blog, I sometimes publish prescriptivist stuff when I think it’s cute (and in this case, cutely macabre). (Unfortunately, I also relied on the fact that it was originally posted by a fairly reputable grammar blog, theyuniversity, as a means to evaluate—or rather, spend little time evaluating—the political correctness of this post.) This post was clearly NOT cute and in this case its utter lack of appeal to a few far outweighs its potential appeal to others.
Rather than delete the original post, I’ve decided that it would be better to keep it on the blog with a link to this post you are now reading. I feel that deleting the original would just allow for the issue to be swept quietly under the rug, instead of giving followers and users an opportunity to learn in what ways it is problematic. Keeping the original will also allow EMH visitors to view easily view the post’s notes, which add valuable and interesting contributions to the “ask” vs. “ax” and AAVE discussion.
If you have any questions or concerns regarding this, my decision not to delete the original, or anything else, feel free to let me know. All I ask is that you do so kindly (as these two anonymous folks have for the most part done, in merely pointing out the problems with the post as opposed to attacking my character) and that you give me time to respond—I have a lot on my plate this weekend and in the coming weeks, so responding to asks immediately can be difficult.

Folks, I want to apologize for allowing an earlier post mocking the use of “ax(e)” instead of “ask” when speaking to be posted.

I had not considered that the use of “ax” in place of “ask” tends to be associated with AAVE because it’s one of those things that been around for hundreds of years, which is something that did come up in my linguistics class. (While we did talk about AAVE in my linguistics class, how the “ask” vs. “ax” issue came up in context of things people people have been saying for hundreds of years and not in the context of AAVE is beyond me.)

I try to be as descriptivist as possible, but in my mission to appeal to as many people as possible on this blog, I sometimes publish prescriptivist stuff when I think it’s cute (and in this case, cutely macabre). (Unfortunately, I also relied on the fact that it was originally posted by a fairly reputable grammar blog, theyuniversity, as a means to evaluate—or rather, spend little time evaluating—the political correctness of this post.) This post was clearly NOT cute and in this case its utter lack of appeal to a few far outweighs its potential appeal to others.

Rather than delete the original post, I’ve decided that it would be better to keep it on the blog with a link to this post you are now reading. I feel that deleting the original would just allow for the issue to be swept quietly under the rug, instead of giving followers and users an opportunity to learn in what ways it is problematic. Keeping the original will also allow EMH visitors to view easily view the post’s notes, which add valuable and interesting contributions to the “ask” vs. “ax” and AAVE discussion.

If you have any questions or concerns regarding this, my decision not to delete the original, or anything else, feel free to let me know. All I ask is that you do so kindly (as these two anonymous folks have for the most part done, in merely pointing out the problems with the post as opposed to attacking my character) and that you give me time to respond—I have a lot on my plate this weekend and in the coming weeks, so responding to asks immediately can be difficult.

  • 19th October
    2014
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