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DU Home » Latest Threads » Forums & Groups » Topics » Arts & Humanities » Languages and Linguistics (Group) » Kathryn Gray: Iím with th... » Reply #1

Response to geardaddy (Original post)

Tue Dec 4, 2012, 11:01 AM

1. Probably the hatred that many monolinguals have for ANYONE who prefers to use a different language

Back in the 1980s, I was on a Metro Transit bus, and some Hmong people were chatting away in their native language. An elderly woman got all bent out of shape about "those Vietnamese" who "refused to speak English."

I let her have it. I said that first of all, they were Hmong, not Vietnamese, and they probably hadn't been in the U.S. for very long, and after all, it was Hmong people speaking among themselves, so why shouldn't they speak Hmong? If she went to a foreign country with her family, wouldn't she speak English to them?

Then she started grumbling about how the Hmong were eligible for welfare. This was the height of the Reagan recession, so I pointed out that jobs were scarce for everyone. She just sniffed and said that her grandfather had gotten a job the second day after arriving in Minneapolis from Sweden.

I asked her what job he had gotten.

"Cleaning stalls in a livery stable*."

Of course, there were just tons of livery stable jobs available in the 1980s, weren't they?

*A livery stable is the horse-and-buggy equivalent of a rent-a-car agency.

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geardaddy Dec 2012 OP
LineNew Reply Probably the hatred that many monolinguals have for ANYONE who prefers to use a different language
Lydia Leftcoast Dec 2012 #1
geardaddy Dec 2012 #2
Lydia Leftcoast Dec 2012 #3
geardaddy Dec 2012 #4
redic003 Jan 2013 #5
petronius Jan 2013 #6
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