“The Baddest Dog in Harlem” is a short story written by Walter Dean Myers (1937-2014). Walter was an African American writer, known for both children’s and adult literature.
The short story focuses on police shootings in Harlem that result in the killing of a dog, and a young boy. Therefore, the theme in this short story is gun violence and racism.
The language in this story is influences by slang, which means that the author has put in grammatical errors on purpose. An example for the usage of slags is found on p. 16 “Ali would have eat him up” .
This is an example of grammatical error, where if the author had written it correctly it would be “Ali would have eaten him up”, translated to correct English “Ali would have beaten him up”.
The language is therefor not complicated, because of the nonformal use and grammatical errors. And at last, the language is suitable to living in the ghetto, because of the slag and errors which helps to provide the right atmosphere.