Ain't is a word

  • #1
symbolipoint
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Main Question or Discussion Point

Interesting the discussion happening about "Use of the singular 'they' ".

Here is another for the members to play with:
"Ain't" is a word.
 

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  • #2
StatGuy2000
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"Ain't" is indeed a word. An informal or slang word, but a word nonetheless.
 
  • #3
symbolipoint
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StatGuy2000, I note that you said, "informal or slang", but did not say "substandard". Good for you!
 
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  • #4
Vanadium 50
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It's better than "wanna" and "gonna". "I wanna get a doctorate, and I'm gonna do it! And hey, why aren't you guys taking me seriously!"
 
  • #5
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According to this wiki article, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ain't, the first use of ain't was in the early 1600s, as a contraction of am not. Since amn't is difficult to wrap your tongue around, the contraction reverted to ain't. It subsequently grew to encompass many more meanings, as is not, are not, has not, have not, do not, and does not.

This seems like a very useful word in its original meaning, as a contraction of am not. We can answer a question like, "Are you ready?" with "No, I'm not." An alternative such as "No, I aren't" is ungrammatical, as is the even worse "No, I isn't." Although "No, I'm not," is grammatically correct, the lack of a first person counterpart to "you aren't" and "she isn't" must be confusing to people attempting to learn the language.
 
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  • #6
PeroK
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We can answer a question like, "Are you ready?" with "No, I'm not." An alternative such as "No, I aren't" is ungrammatical,
I would never say "I aren't", but I would say "aren't I?". Funny, ain't it!
 
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  • #7
jtbell
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IIRC the people on the right side of the Big Pond have been known to use a'n't which would seem to encompass both aren't and ain't.
 
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  • #8
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Language changes over time, and the meaning of a word is its use in language.
 
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