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DEA Looking For ‘Yo’ ‘Ho’ Linguists

Reported by JontySkrufff on August 31, 2010

picture; self confessed cocaine user Obama


America’s anti-drug secret police force the DEA (Drug Enforcement Administration) in Atlanta have published ‘help wanted’ adverts on their website looking for nine candidates able to understand ‘ebonics’, the term for  ‘street slang’ language used by predominantly African Americans.


The Guardian reported this week that the DEA need ebonics speakers to interpret drug dealers recorded on wiretaps using phrases such as ‘is he shook?’ (meaning ‘is he scared?’) and ‘I need a re-up’ (meaning ‘I need resupplying’, usually with drugs).


"A lot of times people think you're just dealing with a few slang words, and that you can finesse your way around it," Stanford University language expert Professor John Rickford told AP”, And it's not – it's a big vocabulary. You'll have some significant differences,” he added.


Details of the DEA plan were revealed just as the Wall Street Journal reported that psychologists and drug counselors are reporting unprecedented levels of drug use amongst merchant bankers in the States, suggesting linguists conversant with Wall Street patois could be even more effective.


Brad Lamm from Intervention Specialists told the Wall Street Journal that ‘“the titans of Wall Street normalize crazy behavior all the time’ and said many of his executive patients are using cocaine and crack. Robert Curry from rehab company Turning Point For Leaders agreed.


“Investment bankers — gunslingers, as we call them — are highly prone to addiction,” he said, “And there’s a lot of denial among employers. The attitude is: ‘If they can’t fix themselves, then they’re going to have to live with it. We’re not going to put any time and effort into it.’ (Wall Street Journal) (‘When it comes to identifying addictions, one should remember that “if you suspect there is a problem, there probably is one.” People with addictions are so driven to continue using drugs or alcohol that they are very cunning at hiding the problem, not only from others but also from themselves. They often fail to see the inevitable changes in their functioning at work, home and with friends; changes that are invariably noticed by others . . .’)


Ebonic Phrase book: ‘Sup? - How are you?’; ‘Beeatsh - Woman/female friend’; ‘Ho/Hizzle/Hizza - Woman/female friend’:  Phrases NOT to be used: ‘Da bomb - (replaced with "dat hotness")’.


DEA Special Agent Careers: Before You Apply: ‘Applicants who are found, through investigation or personal admission, to have experimented with or used narcotics or dangerous drugs, except those medically prescribed, will not be considered for employment with DEA. Exceptions to this policy may be made for applicants who admit to limited youthful and experimental use of marijuana . . .’) 


Jonty Skrufff