A commenter asks if Blacks switch back and forth between Ebonics or AAVE (African American Vernacular English):
Do a lot of black Americans switch between dialects depending on their audience?
Oh yeah! One of the young women in the Blacks 🙁 post (the one holding the baby in the first anecdote), well, I know her just a bit. She’s really pretty nice, and she’s good friends with this one heavy set White young woman. She’s really quiet and nice around her White friend. She also hangs out with some others I know, mixed Hispanics, Blacks and Whites. She’s really quiet, nice and normal when she’s around them. She doesn’t act ghetto at all. It’s just that that one young Black women she was with (the one with the young boy and young girl) – she can be pretty ghetto at times. So it’s like the nice Black girl goes into ghetto mode when she’s around the ghetto chick.
I gave these two young Black women a ride a while back. My neighbor and her friend. They were doing some shopping and didn’t have a car. The friend had her 3 very young boys with her, nice, sweet, quick, intelligent boys. The two women were speaking the most insane Ebonics the whole time, and it may as well have been Greek to me. It sounded like they were mumbling plus their mouths were full of marbles. You could barely make out a word of it. After three straight hours, I wasn’t hearing it any better. But every now and then I would turn around and talk to them, and they would switch totally out of Ebonics and speak absolutely proper and normal well-spoken English. It was weird, like they were switching between 2 different languages.
A lot of them can basically turn it on and turn it off, you know. That’s why I don’t buy that there’s some gene forcing them to act this way all the time.