What Does Everyone Have Against the Word “Ain’t”

721274It’s been a while since I’ve had the chance, or, more accurately, made the time, to sit down at this electronic contraption and write something down.  I love computers, not because of all the cool games, or homepages, or social media, but because of the ease of finding information and the ability to quickly write, edit and put into some form of design, the written word.  How did we find out anything before the internet?  We have an argument at our house now, or we can’t remember something, and it’s solved in seconds with a simple Google search. 

Remember the library?  I know they still have them because I drive by one, actually two, almost every day.  I don’t stop, don’t have a library card anymore, but I remember that is where the information was.  I think we can all agree that we’ve learned most everything we know from books, that are in that library.  You just had to know how to find it.  I had a professor in college that said we were there for only two reasons.  One was to prove that we could start something and finish it, and the other was to learn how to look things up in the library.  Guess he might think there is no reason to go get a bachelor’s degree any more.  He is, and was, an astronomy professor.  I still know how to look things up in the library, but they use a computer now, not the card file I used when I spent a lot of time there.

And I was there at the beginning, when computers weren’t in almost everyone’s home.  I heard yesterday that we have an average of six of them in our homes now, tablets being the most recent addition.  I have five of them.  No tablet yet, but I want one.  Actually I want one that is a laptop that morphs into a tablet.   I really don’t know why.  I spend most of my computer time, other than at work, on the desk top in my office.  An office stuffed full of books.  Books that I hardly ever take off the shelves, but I like the way they look, and I’ve spent a lot of time over the years, packing them, moving them, and unpacking them to put them back on shelves.  Some of those books I could never part with, and I know I’ll read some of them again.

I find it sad that the computer and ebooks have started to wipe out the printed book, newspaper and magazine.  I like reading “hard-copy” publications.  I like the book in my hand, the ereader just doesn’t cut it.  Not too far down the road, we might just be able to download the book directly to our brains.  But then I hate science fiction.

Anyway, I’ve noticed that people are still reading my blog even though I haven’t written anything in months.  They’re still interested in who invented the light bulb, and the Scottsborough Boys, the two most read stories on any given day.  Some days, people think I know how to back up a boat trailer and read that two-part blog, to find out that I really don’t.

I heard somewhere, or read somewhere, or somebody once told me, that a “real” writer has a need to write, that they just have to do it.  Words are just dying to get out of their heads and onto a printed page.  It doesn’t mean that they are “good” writers, necessarily, there aren’t really very many of those, but they’re “real” writers.  I don’t think I am, “real” I mean.  I like to write, I find it somewhat easy, I always seem to have something to write about, but none of these words are just “dying” to get out.  I am quite often pleased with what comes out of the keyboard and onto the page (or the screen, whatever).  I read them over some time in the future and think, “Hey, that was pretty good.”  Self-absorbed ain’t I?

Why isn’t “ain’t an acceptable word?  We’ve added a whole lot of words to the English language over the years.  What does everyone have against the word “ain’t”?  I just pulled a “Webster’s New Collegiate Dictionary” copyright 1973 off of my bookshelf, and damned if it ain’t in there.  (Spellchecker still doesn’t like it, wants it to be isn’t or aren’t or am not.)  But the word is there, and this is what it says:  “—though disapproved by many and more common in less educated speech, used orally in most parts of the U.S. by many educated speakers esp. in the phrase ‘ain’t I.’”  I don’t know about you, but it sounds less educated to say “ain’t I” than to say “ain’t that great?”  WTF.

I’ll bet you didn’t know on this day in 1931, Nevada legalized gambling.  You probably thought it was always legal in Nevada.  And, a short time later, they legalized divorce.  Why, because they saw it as a way out of the Great Depression.  Gambling is still the state’s largest tax revenue source.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAnd Elvis Presley made a down payment of $1,000 on this date in 1957, on a 13.8 acre wooded site on the outskirts of Memphis.  He paid a whopping $102,500 for the estate (now in the city of Memphis) that became known as Graceland.  It is the second most visited home in the United States.  Yep, number one is the white one on Pennsylvania Avenue.  I heard Donald Trump was offering to cover the cost of tours at the White House, which were cancelled indefinitely due to the inability of our elected officials to agree on logical ways to avert sequestration (sounds like castration doesn’t it?) which they didn’t, but I don’t know if he did.  I guess I could look it up on the internet.  The one and only time I was able to see the White House, they had a bunch of huge tents set up on the lawn and I couldn’t even see it.

And remember those “weapons of mass destruction” acronymed (I made that word up) as WMDs?  This is the day we launched “Operation Iraqi Freedom.”  We’re still looking for WMDs, Saddam musta buried them good.  We’re not looking for Saddam or Osama anymore though.

Tomorrow is the first day of spring.  Ain’t it great?  


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