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Society As A Whole Would Be Better Off Speaking Ebonics Rather Than Proper English

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 10/10/2012 Category: Miscellaneous
Updated: 5 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,544 times Debate No: 26119
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (7)
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Con must argue the opposite, that "Society As A Whole Is Better Off Because Proper English Is The Way It Is Instead of Being Ebonics". Con may not argue from the standpoint that the resolution is invalid because of them being "equal".

People are often criticized when speaking ebonics for not speaking "proper English" but proper English itself must stand upon its own merits.


One thing ebonics does that is innovative is it eliminates conjugation of verbs other than indicating the infinitive with "to". Instead of "I am", "You are", "they are", "he/she/it is" it's just all "I/you/they/he/she/it be". That's way simpler. If you think about it there is no practical functionality of verb conjugation in the English language. It's not like Spanish where dropping the Subject from the sentence is popular and so you need the conjugated verb to tell you the subject.

Think of the mental energy that is saved from learning to speak this way. A small amount of brain space that doesn't go to remembering the differences in conjugation is then free to be used for something else. Although it seems triffling, imagine a generally intelligent child who has a learning disability that affects language learning. If he's at the right level the slightly easier learnability of the language could make the difference between giving up and persevering and hence future success.

This is not to say that simplicity is the only virtue of what defines a good language. Complicated grammatical rules can be an asset to a language IF it helps people convey information better. But verbal conjugation is merely stylistic and adds nothing to the English language. It's decoration. Ebonics does away with it.


This word is often given a bad rap, but it is used as a general negative indicator in Ebonics as opposed to having to use so many different ones: am not, isn't, aren't, haven't and hasn't, don't, doesn't, didn't. Speach is simpler when you just use "ain't". Typically context clearly indicates the sense "ain't" is being used in.

Saving Time And Energy In Everyday Speech

If a person doesn't have to conjugate and doesn't have to think of a specific negation that frees up some neurons to think about other things. Though small, this could in some cases push over the threshhold where someone has room to think to include more depth in the conversation.


C1: Clarity to foreignors, which in turn increases pleasure of tourists, hence benefiting society.

If I say to you "ain't it funny how that girl got her knickers in a twist over me talkin' bout pu$sy yeh?" You will probably comprehend it and chuckle or just say no. However, if you are a tourist visting a certain society, whose income is hugely dependent on its reputation, and you go to many 'upper class' areas of the society because of the bad reputation those areas that speak ebonics have then ask someone the way to the nearest cinema and they say this "Yo blad! you ain't got to worry bout nuffink! It's just across dee road and round da corner den u gotta skid cross to de ovva side and like you gonna be seein' a starbuck innit?! Den u gotta keep going and take da left, but not da first left ain't you gettin me?" You probably will say "What the %&$!" walk off and tell your fmaily how ridiculously difficult it is to understand the hosts of the country EVEN AFTER learning their language.

C2: If it not made clear the proper English is the preferred/dominant form of communication, civil wars and hooliganism is more likely to spark.

At the moment areas of UK such as Manchester and Liverpool have HUGE rivalry. But at least they know to have the decency to cut down the slang when conversing with each other, because it's really quite rude to talk in what could be regional swear words about another person and them hating not knowing what you're saying. At football matches, the language barrier and slang would only increase the hatred between the people. Often, between english and americans is the huge, and honestly sometimes violent, conflict when an American comes to UK and calls 'football' soccer'. There have truly been fights and beatings up of americans for calling it soccer. At least if we learn to use proper terms in every region, it will remove this form osf violence. For example, imagine if using the word 'girl' instead of 'lass' got you beaten up? At least if both agree that whatever to 'superior english' which neither speaks is correct to use it offers a common ground.



You didn't justify how you save 'brain space' at all.


Try saying the two following sentences using ain't, then realise how confusing it will be to use it in day to day language:

      1. I haven't got any idea why the show isn't on today, perhaps we are not going to go.

      1. There is not a single reason to think we aren't supposed to say 'ain't'. Isn't that true?

Saving Time and Energy in Everyday Speech

COUNTER-Contention: Use of Proper English saves Time and Energy in Comprehension of What is Being Said, Not Understanding What Someone says Requires Long Explanations, In Essence Wasting More Time than is Save by Using Ebonics.
Debate Round No. 1


"Den u gotta keep going and take da left, but not da first left ain't you gettin me?" You probably will say "What the %&$!" walk off and tell your fmaily how ridiculously difficult it is to understand the hosts of the country EVEN AFTER learning their language."

"Even after learning their language"

But if our society as a whole used Ebonics on a regular basis and had always(the argument is that our society would be better off if we always spoke Ebonics, not that we should or shouldn't transition to it now) then we would have formal rules based off of that dialect, everyone in the world would know that is our standard and would learn that in order to interact with us.

"If it not made clear the proper English is the preferred/dominant form of communication, civil wars and hooliganism is more likely to spark."

Replace "proper English" with "some dialect with a formal set of rules" and you would be correct. Because Ebonics is more efficient we'd be better off if we had been speaking it from the start.

Saving Brain Space, Common Sense

You save brain space, every bit of information necessarily takes up more of your brain power to understand it. What functional purpose is served by having different forms of "to be". If our language didn't have that, and we all grew up and were educated learning the language without it how would we be any worse off? What purpose does it serve other than aesthetic?

Point On "Ain't"

Yes, since I grew up being educated towards a particular dialect of English, standard English it would be confusing to just switch to it. BUT that's not what the debate is about. The debate is our society would be better off today if we had always been using Ebonics as the standard form of English.

Not Understanding

If we had always used it, understanding it wouldn't be a problem. My argument is that this hypothetical society lying on an alternate timeline would include additional benefits realized from the use of Ebonics versus Original Time Line Standard English compared to our society as it is now.


If your debate is whether society would be better off replacing proper English with Ebonics then I shall introduce a new argument.

C1: Words like aint and dude encompass too much for clarity

Many day-to-day sentences include two negatives in a sentence. For example 'I won't go if you aren't going to come with me' but if we used aint it would read 'I aint going if you aint coming with me' this is somewhat confusing and impractical. However there is a deeper issue with calling someone 'dude'. It is like calling someone 'human' except you associate it with a male. So what to call females? Well Ebonics likes to call everyone dude or 'man' which is really sexist and encompasses too much. Imagine calling your teacher or boss 'dude' you'd get a slap because it's disrespectful, but if we used Ebonics it would not be clear how to take it and cause confusion and offence being taken at incorrect times.

C2: It's very hard for white people to speak Ebonics.

I am not being racist but have seen white people trying to speak it. For some reason it's extremely hard for them to mimic, especially as ebonics combines extremely fast paced accent with lots of generalised words, meaning you have to think fast as well as using a word in a way which you didn't use it that way just a second ago (for example aint).

C3: Only black people suit talking Ebonics... (see video)

I know this is both racist and subjective... but seirously look at video and you will see how the ebonics only suits the black guy... If a white guy said those things like that around a black guy it could offend them.

Debate Round No. 2


Not about replacing. I'm saying that comparatively had we started with it we would be better off now.


As it is Ebonics has more tenses than standard English. So it also differentiates certain things more. It's not all simplification.

Here are some of the ways you can talk about walking:

  • He walk - an action without regard to time
  • He is walkin’ - an action in the present
  • He walkin’ - also an action in the present. Same as “he is walkin’”. The “is” can be dropped.
  • He be walkin’ - an action that is done all the time or over and over again
  • He been walkin’ – an action in the past that took some time
  • He BEEN walkin’ – an action that has been going on a long time and is still going on. The “been” is stressed.
  • He done walked – an action completed in the past
  • He finna walk – an action in the near future
  • He’ll be done walked - an action completed in the future


"I won't go if you aren't going to come with me' but if we used aint it would read 'I aint going if you aint coming with me' this is somewhat confusing and impractical."

Both "won't" and "aren't" use negative forms of "to be", future, and present 2nd person/plural respectively. "Ain't" encompasses negative forms of "to be". That wouldn't be hard at all if you had grown up with that. Notice that "you" already indicates the "2nd person" making the use of a specialized form "aren't" redundant. Similarly, "going" already indicates it is happening in the future. So specialization there is also redundant.


If society used Ebonics all the time and had been since the beginning, as I propose would be better, then "dude" would be considered respectful. As for using it to refer to women being sexist what about saying "you guys" when you are talking to girls like is common in everyday speech? Also it's not hard to create a feminization of "dude", just say "dudette".

White People Speaking Ebonics

It looks weird because that's how we associate it in our culture and for no other reason. My argument is not that it would be practical for us to switch given the way we are now, just that language would be better if we had started with Ebonics in the first place. Also are you suggesting white people can't think fast? White people can't be as efficient as black people in their speech?


To be honest it's just racist to do this, you'd make whites fored to talk like black men.
Debate Round No. 3


If whites had always been speaking this way from the beginning then it wouldn't be racist.

Comparatively, Ebonics is more expressive and efficient at expression, so we would be better off today if it had been used in the first place. We would probably be making slightly more in GDP and technology today had we used the language from the getgo. There would also probably be less problems with dyslexia.

Now I'm not saying if we did this now it would work, just that had we done this from the very beginning it would've turned out better than it did.


The difference between those in ghetto and those who speak proper english, I had to be prejudiced but it's true, is that those in the ghetto do less, achieve less and earn less before they die, in general.
Debate Round No. 4


MasturDbtor forfeited this round.


And ma homies dat's wai we can't speak ebonics aint it jost?
Debate Round No. 5
7 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 7 records.
Posted by MasturDbtor 5 years ago
When in doubt,

Look it up!
Posted by MasturDbtor 5 years ago
Posted by RationalMadman 5 years ago
I thought Ebonics was slang...
Posted by MasturDbtor 5 years ago

I mean "Ebonics" according to how it is defined by linguists, not random slang.

The debate is not about whether it would be feasible to use Ebonics in everyday life given that most people prefer mainstream English and you might confuse them or stoke their emotions, the debate is that our society would be better off if Ebonics was mainstream English in all social classes rather than how it is the here and now.
Posted by AlwaysMoreThanYou 5 years ago
What is "society"?
Posted by joshuaXlawyer 5 years ago
Correction of previous comment:

Pretty much this debate is : Informal speaking of a language is easier "than" the more Formal speaking of a language.
Posted by joshuaXlawyer 5 years ago
So what your saying is any person who makes up slang is now a developer of his own language and doesn't sound improper to the English language it was built off of?

Yes, Ebonics is used all the time; however, it still sound unprofessional.
Also on a side note I believe Ain't was added to the dictionary and is counted as a word in English.( Just what I heard.) My auto correct doesn't count ain't as incorrect so its possible.

Pretty much this debate is : Informal speaking of a language is easier that the more Formal speaking of a language.

Which is true as long as you don't want to sound lazy and from the "hood" -.-'
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