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"I need to talk to you about something."

Toward the end of a semester, I always had a handful of conversations with students that started this way. Students who hadn't turned in any term work, or who hadn't attended class, or who had earned low marks came to my office to confide in me.

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EssayJack
EssayJack 04.08.2017

“Isn’t” and “aren’t,” “didn’t” and “don’t,” “shouldn’t” and “won’t” are all considered perfectly respectable contractions. So it doesn’t really seem fair that “ain’t” is frowned upon. Dictionaries still label “ain’t” as “nonstandard” or “uneducated,” while those other contractions are given a pass. Even your spellcheck might still underline “ain’t” with a disapproving red squiggle that calls it out as an error.

“Ain’t” actually has a long history that takes it back to the 1600s. It first appeared in print as “an’t.” That soon morphed into “ain’t,” often appearing in the speech of upper class characters in 18th and 19th century English literature. Despite the disapproval of grammarians and teachers, the expression has remained robust ever since.

Gillian Bartlett
Gillian Bartlett 21.06.2017

Many students focus on grades and exams; you might be so focused on finishing your education, that sometimes you forget that one of the goals of an education is to give you the skills necessary to march out into the big, wide world and be a success, including being a professional success.

So what does that really mean? 

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