Sunday, May 28, 2006

English only?

I can see requiring that English be used in all official proceedings, for example, in court cases. But if English is made the official language to the exclusion of all other languages, will "E Pluribus Unum" still appear on our money? Will "Semper Fi" remain the official motto of the Marine Corps?

Will Congress be fussy about which dialect or dialects of English get approval? For example, can a bloke still drive his red-coloured lorry? Can he take the lift up to the first floor? Will shagging and buggery still be permitted between consenting adults?


  1. I doubt there would be any problem or confusion with English only. In fact, less. Imagine if we had not assimilated, but incorporated, languages of the prominent immigrants throughout the years. We would have our official documents in English, German, Italian, Polish, Chinese, and a few other languages besides Spanish.

    Ever been to Canada, where the highway signs are in English and French? I've been to northern Ontario and Northern Quebec, where Cree is also a prominent language, and the signs are in three and sometimes four languages. Mighty big signs.

  2. Ok. English is already the language used in all official documents in this country. There is no need to codify it.

    The shapes, colors, and symbols on traffic signs indicate what a motorist is supposed to do. A non-English speaking motorist still knows to stop when he see a sign shaped like a red octogon. The confusion that you've seen in Quebec is due to the provincial government trying to promote and preserve the use of French in Quebec.

    Cultures and languages mix, clash, change, and adapt over time. Sometimes government try to impede the process. Sometimes harsh methods are used. But more often than not, people will adopt new ways of doing and saying things no matter what the authories do about it. For example, the French government requires that all foriegn language advertisements. carry a French translation. In this country, it is up to the descretion of the advertiser which langauges are used in ads.

    Instead of burritos and pizzas, will we soon be eating freedom wraps and cheese pies? Are we as dumb as the French government?

  3. It's not just in Quebec. I've been as far west as Alberta and they have everything in French, even though very few there actually speak French. It's a national policy.

    It's an interesting thing, because at once, I really appreciate and enjoy those who bring their culture and work to preserve it. However, on an official level, having one language is just as important as having one currency.

  4. I'm sure American culture would love to get a load of the Czech-Polish language that comes with my heritage LMAO...

    Seriously though, the world is already bowing down to us with respect to their language skills...

    Most Japanese students can speak many American students can speak Japanese? The same can be said of the French, the Poles, the Russians...

    Speaking English puts you on the same page as powerful folks on 4 (North America, Africa, Austrailia, Europe) continents so it only makes sense that we ask our immigrants to learn and use it...but as far as making it the "official language," what's the point? The rest of the world already know that we are primarily english-speakers, and they respond accordingly. If non-english speakers want to retard their economic and social capabilities by being hard-headed, let them.

  5. Oh, I forgot, most folks in the Middle East (from industrialized/urban areas) speak English too...

  6. They also speak English in Guyana, which is in South America. I suspect that many of the scientists stationed in Antartica speak English as well. So yes, Andy, English is spoken on all 7 continents. It is the most widely spoken European language in the world. That certainly makes for compelling reason for a person to learn that langauge whether or not they want to come into this country.

    But, there are fifth generation US citizens who speak Spanish as their first language. They are call Puerto Ricans, and as US citizens they can travel and live in any part of the country that they choose.

  7. What's the point of English as the official language? An assurance that everyone can communicate with one another, for starters. From this follows lower costs in government- no duplication in publications, reduced need for translators (Hamilton County currently pays translators $50/hour for Espanol), etc.

    In sum, smaller government.

  8. It should be seen as a cost benefit thing. It is far cheaper to pay for a court translator than it is to throw a potential innocent Spanish speaker in jail.

  9. If the government decided to make English the official language, how would it be enforced? It seems to me that it would be another in the long line of unfunded federal mandates. I have absolutely no intentions of paying the government to force-feed English to people who are too pig-headed or too lazy to learn it on their own.

    Like I said before, if people want to live with a self-inflicted handicap, let them. Who am I to tell them that they can't speak Tuareg in their home or in a restaurant?