Tag Archives: language shift

Zora Neale Hurston’s use of language

“You know if you pass some people and don’t speak tuh suit ’em dey got to go way back in yo’ life and see whut you ever done. They know mo’ ’bout yuh than you do’ yo’ self. An envious heart makes a treacherous ear. They done “hear” ’bout you just what they hope done happened.”

Neale Hurston, Zora. Their eyes were watching God. Harper Perennial Modern Classics Edition, 2006. p5.

I think it’s interesting to see how the saying is written with no grammatical/spelling errors and included in a dialogue that reproduces a slangy language. I think it somehow reflects the constant shift between slangy dialogues and well written¬†prose.