Beware of Sesame Street

Sesame Street was designed with inner-city children as its intended audience. It may not be suitable for the language needs of children from other backgrounds.

I’ve never been a fan of Sesame Street. I find it noisy, jumbled, visually unattractive, and vulgar. However, I’d always assumed that the content was being conveyed in standard English.

This morning I watched an alphabet segment with my granddaughter. The letter T was singing. Most of the lyrics were words beginning with the letter T, but the following sentences occurred:

Timmy and me, we start with T.

and, (of a character named Tina),

Her, Tim and me, we’re all T.

Yes, “me” rhymes with “t,” but this is supposed to be an educational program that parents can trust their children in front of.

Pop musicians consistently sacrifice standard usage to rhyme, but there’s no excuse for a program supposed to be educating children to do it.

“Me” is not a subject word and neither is “her.” Modeling incorrect pronoun usage to an audience of language learners is a disgrace.

Sesame Street was designed with inner-city children as its target audience. Perhaps its creators assume that inner-city children don’t need to learn to use standard English.

Parents who want their children educated along conventional middle class standards may want to reconsider the value of exposing them to unlimited viewings of Sesame Street.

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