The People Vs. Conversate

I get the feeling that one of these ninjas conversates and the other one converses.

For the life of me, I can’t understand why some Black folks HATE the word “conversate” so much. In the reading ninja commrunity, hearing a Black person say “conversate” is akin to a white person using the word n-word. All of a sudden the sky opens up and the spirits of dead slaves pour down their disappointments and blackberry molasses upon the souls of Black folks. You know somethings will never change.

But really, what’s the big damn deal? I get it. It’s not a real word. (Sidenote: According to Dictionary.com, it is commonly recognized as a word nowadays, who knew?) But we make up words all of the time. Look —-> trill.

I know for a motherlovin’ fact that a huge segment of the reading populace was runnin’ around talking about how “trill” things were. I know I was. There was even a southern d-boy argument about who came up with the term. That’s how serious it was. Granted it’s a slang term and perhaps that’s where the argument breaks down. Perhaps the big problem is the assumption that people using the word “conversate” don’t actually know any better. These ignant ninjas really are ignorant. There’s no joke. No punchline. They’re allegedly using it because they don’t know that it’s “converse”. But are they really? Put a pin in that, we’ll come back to it later.

Now, I could chalk that up to syntax and English snobbery. Hell, Twitter has proven that even the smartest of ninjas really have no idea how to spell common words and phrases they’ve been using for eons. This commonly riles people up, understandbly, I suppose. For example:

For all intensive purposes. I can’t tell you how many people I know with degrees show up on Twitter or Facebook and write that statement and effectively admit that they have no effin’ clue what it is that they’ve been really saying despite knowing how to use it.

Back to “trill” for a second and this idea of not knowing any better. While the reading ninja in me loves made up words, I also know when to use them. I won’t be sitting in a meeting with my boss and point out how “trill” a certain estimate of something is. It won’t happen. And I think we can safely assume that most reading ninjas won’t. But, again assuming, that the people who use “conversate” don’t know any better, maybe the fear is that they WOULD use that word, on purpose, in a setting where they’d make us all look bad. Is that it?

Understandably, somebody who uses conversate might likely use that word in any setting or circumstance, regardless of who’s present. Whereas I, again, know better. Here’s another monkey wrench – does it carry more weight if a white person says it? I’m asking because I get the impression that this isnt’ a Black thing, it’s a “conversate” thing. It’s a tricky English language thing. I can imagine a foreigner mistakingly thinking that two people have a “conversation”, but one person might “conversate” with another. Would anybody be upset if that happened?

To make that even more f*cked up, you go from “orientation” to “orientate”. Tell me that ain’t confrusing, Young Buck.

Let’s be real, English is one of the hardest languages to learn because of how many other languages we’ve pulled from. Not to mention the myriad homonyms, synonyms, etc. Hell, I can barely make it through some of the books like Souls of Black Folks because of the language use and I’m a motherf*cking honeybadger. We’re all aware of people who are extremely learned who don’t have a full grasp of the English language and all its nuance. And it’s not SUCH a huge leap to think that “conversate” is a real word. I mean, my ni**a, Converse iz and are shoes.

Hell, quick, quick…somebody define, without looking up: gerund.

But “conversate” is like nails on a chalkboard for many a ninja. It’s almost like the delineating point between ignant ninjadom and breaking out of the hood or something. In an odd twist of irony, I think I’ve jokingly heard “conversate” so much that I’ve had to check myself before to make sure that it wasn’t actually the right way to say “talk to a ni**a”.

Actually, that might be the legal definition of “conversate”.

Here’s another issue, I think “conversate” actually sounds better than “converse”. Unlike “irregardless” which clearly sounds horrible and is a double negative. But that all comes down to personal preference I suppose. And seeing as my ignorance is sophisticated, for all intensive purposes, I only use “conversate” in the midst of a powwow with somebody who eats #flamingyoung. Or who can at least appreciate what just happened there.

If you have no idea what #flamingyoung is, then you also have no idea what #theplate is and need to spend more time dealing with Black people who deal with other Black people who spend inordinate amounts of time on Twitter.

So VSBNation, I ask you, what’s the big damn deal with the hatred for the term “conversate”? And why do we seem to conflate it to mean so much more than it actually is?

Conversate with P.

-VSB P aka THE ARSONIST aka MR. YOU’D LET ME TEACH YOUR KIDS AND I’D TEACH THEM CONVERSATE aka GIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIRL HE A 3