AAVE / African American Vernacular English
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AAVE or African American Vernacular English is a phrase used to describe words and phrases often used in urban, working, and middle-class black communities. Frequent misuse of terms introduced by AAVE speakers and a wider adoption of select words by Gen Z internet users has led to controversy and memes over the years.
AAVE consists of specific words coined by and used amongst Black people, oftentimes with a grammatical structure and vocabulary unique and separate from English, allowing modern composition studies to categorize it as either an English dialect or a significant language on its own. The use of AAVE is sometimes misconstrued solely as Stan lingo, Gen Z slang or TikTok slang.
An early internet discussion about AAVE and its misuse took place in the Twitter replies and quote tweets of a post made by EDM artist Zedd on January 2nd, 2017, where he said, "It's 2017 / Can we pls stop saying "lit"? / Thanks." The tweet gathered over 1,700 quote tweets and 7,000 likes in over five years (seen below).
On September 19th, 2017, Twitter  user @origamifirefly quote tweeted a since-deleted tweet by user @kennam27 which said, "Stan twitter culture is using the words "wig," "tea," "shook," "been knew," "sis," and "oomf" irl & no one knows what you're saying." The original tweet gathered over 36,000 likes before it was deleted (seen below, left), while @origamifirefly's tweet gathered over 8,600 likes in over five years (seen below, right).
On December 3rd, 2018, Twitter user @isaac_pdf posted a tweet that read, "AAVE gets swallowed up by meme culture and the end point is always white gays feeling protective over words they never created," gathering over 9,000 likes in over three years (seen below, left). On December 19th, 2018, the Monterey Bay Aquarium's Twitter account published an apology for using AAVE terms to describe an otter as a "thicc girl," with the original tweet gathering over 51,000 likes in over three years (seen below).
In 2021, an SNL sketch titled "Gen Z Hospital" drew flack for mocking "Gen Z slang terms" that many commentators attributed to being AAVE lingo. A May 9th, 2021 tweet by @bribrisimps criticized the sketch, gathering over 4,000 likes in over two years (seen below).
i hate how aave has been reduced to gen z / stan twitter language because those who have any knowledge about anything watch this and just feel gross about this subtle mockery of black people https://t.co/bdUgiZyLn7
— brianna (@bribrisimps) May 9, 2021
 Twitter – origamifirefly
 Internet Archive – Twitter
 Twitter – MontereyAq
 Twitter – bribrisimps
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Mar 13, 2023 at 04:33PM EDT
Mar 13, 2023 at 05:15PM EDT
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