50 Words, Pronunciations & Phrases
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The Book

50 Words is a vocabulary primer developed to help fellow Black Americans improve communication skills by substituting 50 commonly spoken words with Standard English. It is an audiobook and easy to use workbook and reference that is intended for personal use and has recently been expanded for use in schools and in job training. A sentence using the Black English word, phrase or pronunciation followed by the Standard American English version will be presented along with training exercises. This book could be used as part of a workshop, or national project to improve communication skills in our community.

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A Word From the Author

I have written 50 Words to help fellow Black Americans improve their communication skills by substituting 50 commonly spoken words with Standard English. The subject of Black English, Black slang, or Ebonics as it has been called is controversial and has been analyzed for many years. Whether we consider these words to be right or wrong, correct or incorrect, the words that fall into this category are not spelled or pronounced this way in Standard English dictionaries. When the words that fall into this category are used in situations where communication skills are important (interviewing for a job or school), the user can be unfairly branded as unqualified. This book introduces the idea that Black English does not have to be replaced but can be substituted as needed with the Standard English alternative for 50 very commonly spoken words. It is a self-help book intended for Black Americans and job training professionals who are interested in maximizing fullest potential . It facilitates a simple, necessary, and very large step towards this goal.

Please use this necessary vocabulary tool as needed to give yourself the best advantage and to make the most of yourself in any situation. 


Self Help.

Below are examples of 4 key speech patterns addressed within the book.

Training exercises are provided.


Switched Letters.

Say the word “ask.”  Let’s break up this word by saying each letter in order:

aa-ss-k -- “ask.”


There is a tendency to switch the order of the letters in “ask.” When that happens, it comes out sounding like aa-k-s “axe.” – the tool you use to split wood. “ask” vs “axe.” You hear the difference, right?



Dropped Words.

Be careful not to drop the words is and are from sentences.


She kind

Instead Say - She is kind/She’s kind

They twins

Instead Say - They are twins./They’re twins.



Dropped Endings.

If you are dropping the last letter(s) off words, you may not realize it.  So many people do

this in casual speech, but you don’t want to do it in professional circles.

Be careful not to drop t, d, s, z or l when they are in the last position in a word. Some examples of dropped endings are:

He want a job.

Instead say – He wants a job.



Switched Sounds.

Be careful not to switch sounds. For example, don’t use V or F in place of TH. Here are a few times when that may happen:

I have a sister and a brover. – Saybrother with a th.

I worked hard all day, and I need a relaxing baf. -- Say: bath with a th. Are you coming wif  me? – Say: with using a th.