What’s a code switch?

Well, I do it when I talk to older black folks. They are my elders, and I get all sing-songy when I talk to someone who deserves my respect. I often don’t know these people well, but I treat them a lot like I would treat my grandparents.

I didn’t think anything of my code switching, until the man, who would later become my husband, pointed it out to me way back in the 1990s. He said I talked differently with an older black gentleman. He was right. I haven’t given it much thought, but I’m sure I’ve code switched many, many times since then.

Code Switch is also the name of a new race, culture, and ethnicity blog at National Public Radio, and bloggers there have rounded up several examples of code switching. Check it out and welcome Code Switch to the race, culture and ethnicity blogging neighborhood.

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