Ain’t. The word sounds almost wrong to say. Me being from the midwest a.k.a. not a southern bell at all…ain’t sounds like a word that only southern rednecks would use. For example, “Hey Billy Bob, ain’t you the one that’s gonna be going to the NASCAR race with me!?”
Sounds dreadful to me. Although, I admit I tend to “slip up” and use the word quite often myself. I had to find out if it was correct grammar to use this word or not. Grammar Girl states that “ain’t” is used most often in dialogues between people. However, when saying or writing something formal, “ain’t” is usually omitted. No one will hold a gun against your temple if it is used, but it is proper to not use it if possible.
One thing that fascinated me was that “ain’t” is in the dictionary. I never for one second thought that “ain’t” would be in there. Yes, it is in there, but you must be careful how you use the word. I don’t think it would be all that bad if I heard the word ain’t more, but maybe taking away the redneck/country accent would help?
I like Grammar Girl. I never have seen this website before tonight. She gets right to the point when she talks about a subject. She also clears up questions that I ask myself all the time. I can’t wait to see what she says about “who” versus “whom.” AIN’T that gonna be something else!