Am I a word stealer?
Apparently, it's socially questionable to adopt phrases from outside your native vernacular. By "native", I mean from whence you came, where you live now, or based on your subscriptions to race, religion, and sexual orientation.
But that so ain't me. I lurves me words from all places. I may dither mostly in English words, but I'm an equal opportunity offender, by trade. I usually mean that jokingly, but apparently offend I can.
I was taken aback last weekend when someone was taken aback at my use of "a'ight". The look on his face was clearly one of amused surprise with a hint of, um, dismay? that I'd be so bold as to use a word more commonly associated with his playbook than mine. Apparently, because he's black, and I'm white.
Really? I mean, aren't all the cool kidz saying a'ight? Heck, even the non-cool kidz are saying it. Said taken abacker queried where I got the term, and I mentioned my niece had been saying it for years. He asked who *she* got it from, and I said likely where she lived, or her boyfriend at the time. After a pregnant pause filled with "hmms", he said, "was her boyfriend black?". I affirmed.
Are folks so steeped in their own perspectives that collision of cultural phraseology is *actually* that shocking? Cuz in my neck, personally and professionally, cross-culture flavah-flave is the norm.