Despite all the attempts to ban it, ain’t continues to appear in the speech of ordinary folks. Even educated and upper-class speakers see that ain’t has no substitute in fixed expressions like Say it ain’t so, You ain’t just whistlin’ Dixie, and You ain’t seen nothin’ yet. 2
ain’t I? The stigmatization of ain’t leaves us with no happy alternative for use in first-person questions. The widely used aren’t I?, though illogical, was found acceptable for use in speech by a majority of the Usage Panel in an early survey, but in writing there is no alternative to saying am I not?