Okay, here's one for all you writers out there who are down-home country folk. Wait a minute, you don't know who you are. Wall, it's simple. Do you say "isn't or aren't" or do you say "ain't?" What? You're tellin' me you don't know nobody who says "ain't" no more. C'mon I find that hard to believe. Next you'll be tellin' me you call your folks Mom and Dad, 'steada Ma and Pa. Sheet, why not just start callin' 'em Mother and Father like you're the gall durn Kings and Queens of England.
I mean, if I ain't s'posed to use ain't, what ain't––oops––am I s'posed to use to show my characters are, well, to be po-litically co-rect, disadvantaged?
Okay, so I never did spend no time in the country. So I don't know the butt end of a rifle from the––what in hell is the other end anyways? Don't matter, I'll just call it a huntin' rifle and leave it at that. Cuz that's all any reader's really gotta know. 'Less o' course the readers is country folk. Then they might get their noses outa joint, but that's just plain silly, cuz country folk don't read. Least ways not the kinda lit-u-rery main-stream type stuff I write.
'Sides, I'll use whatever words I need to get my point across and ain't nobody's business if I do.
Full disclosure, one of my first published pieces was written in a silly country accent. Originally written for an online lesson that required an accent––go figure––the surprise ending received accolades at my first conference, and that was all I need to think it was great. After several years of reading submissions in "generic country" I wish I'd presented it a little differently.
Seriously, though, does anyone still use "ain't" outside of fiction? I'm curious.