Thursday, October 13, 2005

Tell Me It "Ain't" So!

“Ain’t” ain’t in the dictionary, so “ain’t” ain’t a word.” How many times did we hear that growing up? Well I found out today that apparently that saying just “ain’t so”. What’s up with that?

You see, I had no idea! It seems, much to my surprise, that “ain’t” IS in the dictionary and "ain't" IS a word and nobody sent me notification. When did this happen? When did they change the rules of engagement with regard to the snappy comebacks used on us in our childhood... comebacks we can no longer legitimately use on our kids. I feel ripped off. Stripped of some superpower that once belonged to me. I am just glad I found out in the privacy of my own home. What if I had gone and used that little saying in public with some young whippersnapper and then watched as he pushed his glasses further up onto his nose, whipped out his pocket dictionary then and there, and proceeded to set me straight. How humiliating would that have been. They (whoever "they" are) should let parents know when they change the basis of standard-issue sayings. This just ain't right. And what 60’s warp have I been in? I guess I haven’t read the dictionary lately. Shame on me, right? I mean I know I live in a 60’s warp as far as certain modern conveniences go; like we have no disposal, no dishwasher, no automatic ice-maker and no water or ice in the fridge door, and we still have laminate countertops and a room air conditioner and a manual-open garage door, but why do I have to find out in shock horror from my 12 year old, on what began as a regular Thursday afternoon, that “ain’t” IS in the dictionary, after all these years. I feel so disenchanted with the world. Can they just do these things without a vote? You know why I found out about this travesty today? It was “Little Women”, I tell ya. Seems the kids had to give their own dictionary definitions of words from the book, words they didn’t know the meaning of. Casey didn’t exactly know what to say “ain’t” meant, so she looked it up (a habit we applaud). I suppose the fact that she thought it would be in the dictionary means I must not have preached the little “ain’t” thing often enough, which is yet another blow to my parental standing. I guess I ain't even been using my rightful arsenal like I should. Of course, maybe Casey's just always had an exceptional grasp of the English language and holds to higher standards with regard to her vocabulary. That would make me feel better. Perhaps though, it suggests (ugh) that possibly (I know this will be a stretch for you all to take this in), but just possibly... I don’t know everything. Ooooh, that’s just too much to fathom, ain't it? But it’s out of the bag now; you all finally know the truth... I don’t know it all. (Gasp!) Of course after today’s lesson from my young teacher, I now do. However, up until this afternoon, I was at least one fact shy of it all. This is my confession of the day. Please tell me that you too were clueless that our sing-song “ain’t” saying was archaic. I do know that “they” are rewriting the dictionary all the time and removing and adding words, but I did not know they had bumped this one up to "real word" status and apparently it happened quite some time ago. Please tell me you would have still used the old saying in good faith if I had not enlightened you. Please tell me I am not alone. Pretty please.

Addendum: Upon spell checking my post,I found that while "ain't" may be in the dictionary now, the Imac spell check dictionary still refuses to recognize “ain’t” as a word. Bravo Apple! Bravo. When it comes down to it, we can still use the little ditty if we add in fine print a disclaimer about the apple spell check dictionary.
"Ain't" ain't in the dictionary (Apple spell check volume 2003 for iMac G3 Appleworks software)(sorry, I couldn't get the font to go small, so it loses the disclaimer effect) so "ain't" ain't a word. Yeah, that'll do it.