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Why Is Ain’t Improper?

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Dysfunctional Literacy


When I was a kid, nobody in my house said the word ain’t.  In a way, the word ain’t was worse than profanity.    I heard my parents say other inappropriate words like the F-word, and the Shhhhhhh-word and the word that rhymes with Mod-Gammit, but I never heard my parents say ain’t.

I think I said ain’t a couple times and was corrected, but I didn’t get my mouth washed out with soap for saying ain’t.  I got my mouth washed out for saying other words, so in that regard, ain’t wasn’t worse than profanity.  I just knew not to say it.

In elementary school, I had a friend who used to say, “Ain’t ain’t a word, so you ain’t s’posed to say it three times a day cuz it ain’t proper.”

The humor in that statement was that the word ain’t was…

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