Discreet enquiries suggest that Chuck D is out of the office and being a Public Enemy on a beach somewhere until September, so we’re going to have to sort this one two three four out ourselves. I completely agree with Eric Bakovic and Mark Liberman that the big problem facing the phrase “Ain’t how that God planned it?” in Fear of a Black Planet is the missing “that”, so maybe it’s time to consider a different phrase.
If you listen to other recordings by Chuck D, I think you may find that he doesn’t use intonation to distinguish between questions and statements in the way that speakers of standard English do. That makes me slightly curious as to why we’re so sure he’s nervously asking us “Ain’t how that God planned it?” instead of rounding off the section by telling us emphatically–as his tone suggests–“Ain’t how (that) God planned it!” The unreduced vowel in “that” doesn’t seem to me so remarkable in this context, but, as usual, I’m looking forward to someone explaining to me why I’m wrong.
(Re other, more recent examples of this idiom: Googling “how that God” throws up a large number, including Sister Debbie, an ex-transgendered lesbian (“I had seen how that God had changed his life, being that he was a practicing homosexual, and that the Lord had done miracles in his life, giving him a wife, and three beautiful kids, and he preaches the Gospel at church, and in the local prisons”), an account of “how that God led His people out of the S[eventh] D[ay] A[dventist] Church (Egypt)”, George Fox in 1679 urging the Quakers to “teach and instruct blacks and indians, and others, how that God doth pour out his spirit upon all flesh in these days of the new covenant”, and the following disturbing report:
There’s a lot of it around, but don’t anyone try that kind of rubbish on me.)
- Talking out me neck, again
Re this post by Eric Bakovic, I reckon that when Chuck D of Public Enemy sings Ain’t how that God planned it? he
- Conservas Dani implicated in Morecambe tragedy
From The Independent, re the death of 19 Chinese cockle pickers in Morecambe Bay: The intensification of the industry has been driven
- How to write reggaeton
A fine template, but we prefer metapoetry.
- Buildings that count with elevators
Tapioles 3 is located in a Barcelona apartments building from the early twentieth century that has been fully restored and counts
- Name that novel
Adelante: ‘Ice e-skating,’ said Marta.‘Ice skating,’ said Domingo.‘Ice e-skating.’‘No, no. No e. Ice skating. Try it again.’Marta hesitated.‘Go on!’‘Ice es-kating,’ she