I’d like to consider myself the Oskar Schindler of grammar nazis. I’ll notice but I’ll try not to point you out to my superiors. People make fun of the way Appalachian hillfolk talk all the time and I admit I judge the intelligence of hillbillies too but the truth is it’s the oldest dialect of English still spoken and Shakespearean scholars study it to better understand how the language was spoken in his day. Some people speak behind the current standard and some people speak ahead of it. But yeah when people (for the sake of fuck it took 12 times before autocorrect would accept people as a word) are obviously mixing up every homophone in the book and using eggcorns (soundalike expressions that have a certain logic to them but are still wrong) I do esteem their intelligence less.
"Axe" is one thing, and yes this is funny to me, but having a dyslexic-ish kid & having my grammar/spelling altered, damaged by reading the internet has softened me a GREAT deal.
There are otherwise fantastically intelligent people for example whom I've seen get things like effect/affect mixed up.
I really like good English. I would read Joseph Conrad books even if they had no story. I'm Irish so I'm raised on lots of travesties of the English language. Many of them are very funny. I think it mostly has to do with lower income people getting a very bad education. I read enough to know how language aspires to express complex ideas and inspires through communication. I think it's criminal that poor people can be robbed of a share in this level of consciousness. Using 'axe' instead of 'ask' sounds bad but not being able to 'axe' the right questions is worse.
‘Ask’ or ‘Ahks/Ax/Axe’. Well correct current usage is, of course, ‘ask’. However, it’s not that long ago that either was perfectly acceptable.
African Americans and Caribbeans picked ‘ahks’ up from their slvemasters, most of whom were Irish/English/Scots/Welsh, or descended from those nationalities. The use of ‘ahks’ was common throughout Great Britain and throughout the then colonies. Very common indeed. More common in fact than ‘ask’ which tended to be an urban usage at a tme when most of the population was rural.
The current usage ‘ask’ was only standardised as being correct in the 19th century, and the only version used in education from then on, on both sides of the Atlantic. Indeed, it may have been standardised in the USA before that happened in Britain. Up until then, the words were interchangeable and equally acceptable.
Unfortunately, the African heritage population was largely excluded from formal education, so that ‘ahks’ carried on as standard usage amongst them. And it is still commonly heard in parts of rural Ireland, England, and Scotland within populations that are not at all African, and in poorer ‘white’ areas of the USA, particularly in the south.
This usage, along with other words and figures of speech, has become incorporated into the dialect and accents of these populations. It is fair to say that amongst African Americans, there is not much usage, dialect, or accent difference between them, wherever in the USA they hail from. That is not the case with white Americans, whose speech patterns vary widely.
My point here is not however just about usage regarding one innocuous word. ALL local and national patterns of speech are dialects, and all are equally legitimate. In fact, the local forms have more legitimacy. British ‘Received Pronunciation’ and ‘American Standard English’ are imposed dialects, that grew and developed initially from local ones that varied widely, and wildly.
It’s not too long ago, about a century, that a person from Cornwall would have found the speech of a person from Newcastle upon Tyne utterly incomprehensible, and vice versa, albeit recognisably the same language. But as they would probably never meet, it didn’t matter.
It was little more than the toss of a coin that resulted in us using any of the words deemed ‘correct’ rather than the alternatives. Ask any linguist or language historian. They will tell you that as long as one person knows what the other means, that’s all that matters. And if they can’t, all they have to do is ahks.