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alp227 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-12-10 11:31 PM
Original message
Small New York Town Makes English the Law
Source: The New York Times

JACKSON, N.Y.

Its about 2,500 miles from this green, rural town in the rolling hills near Vermont to the Mexican border at Nogales, but that hasnt stopped Jackson from making a bid to be New Yorks small version of Arizona in the immigration wars.

Or thats how it is beginning to feel two months after Jackson which has 1,700 people, no village, no grocery store or place to buy gasoline, no church, no school, two restaurants and maybe a few Spanish-speaking farm workers decided it needed a law requiring that all town business be conducted in English.

One nearby town, Argyle, has since passed a similar resolution. A third, Easton, is likely to consider one at its Town Board meeting in June. The law has already put Jackson at odds with the New York Civil Liberties Union, which says it violates state and federal law. But in the great American echo chamber, every mouse gets to roar, so Roger Meyer, who proposed the law, feels he is making progress toward protecting the English language from threats near and far.

For too long, the federal government has shirked its duty by not passing English as the official language of the United States, said Mr. Meyer, 76, a Town Council member and retiree who runs Chains Unlimited, a sawmill and chain saw and logging supply company. So seeing as this law couldnt be passed from the top down, I felt Id start a grass-roots movement to try to get it passed from the bottom up.

Read more: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/05/13/nyregion/13towns.html



Well, maybe Meyer should've THOUGHT about why the federal government never passed English as the official language of the US.

Some reasons:
- The Native Americans' native languages certainly did not include English
- Not just the English settled in America and helped found the 13 colonies that eventually made way for the states: the French, Dutch, and Germans settled here too (and New York City used to be called New Amsterdam, by the way!)
- As for the land beyond the 13 colonies, that land was pretty much New Spain until the Louisiana Purchase.
- Thus, there's no practical way that English could be the official language of the US...we've been a melting pot since colonial days!

A brief browse of Wikipedia entries about the history of the US, New Spain, etc. should convince him. Or not.

And this law is just plain silly. I guess that other areas of the US are following Arizona's lead in codifying hypernationalism?
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fishwax Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-12-10 11:34 PM
Response to Original message
1. it's strange the things these people think are somehow solutions
"For too long, the federal government has shirked its duty by not passing English as the official language of the United States, said Mr. Meyer, 76"

:eyes:
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lunasun Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-12-10 11:35 PM
Response to Original message
2. its hyper and its racial
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KamaAina Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-12-10 11:35 PM
Response to Original message
3. Wouldn't those green, rolling hills also be near Quebec?
N'est-ce pas? :shrug:
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pundaint Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-13-10 01:13 AM
Response to Reply #3
16. Perhaps that's what opened their eyes to the need.
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No Elephants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-13-10 03:09 AM
Response to Reply #16
24. What need? Being in Quebec opened my eyes to my need for quality street food like
gaufres, but I couldn't tell that from New York.
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jkappy Donating Member (214 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-13-10 06:11 PM
Response to Reply #3
61. 125 miles from the Quebec border!
The reason they are postulating in the local papers is that it's a cost saving measure because the towns miniscule budget didn't allow for translation services. But, after reading the quotes in this piece... it sure sounds like outright racism to me. And I guess the Latino/a farm workers must be the issue. Either deep paranoia or weirdness.
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Drunken Irishman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-12-10 11:40 PM
Response to Original message
4. Jackson, New York is 97% white and only 1% Hispanic.
:eyes:
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Kerrytravelers Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-12-10 11:45 PM
Response to Reply #4
7. Gotta be sure that 1% knows it's place. That'll show 'em. Grrr. Now, let me beat my chest in victory
As, I'm sure, those 1% are truly the ruling class of that tiny little hamlet.

:eyes:
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pundaint Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-13-10 01:15 AM
Response to Reply #7
17. Anybody of German, Dutch or Asian ancestry there? What are they speaking?
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No Elephants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-13-10 03:39 AM
Response to Reply #4
27. I'm sure this law has nothing to do with Hispanics. Perhaps Jackson has been burdened by a huge
influx of non-English speaking folk from Lichtenstein.
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struggle4progress Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-14-10 12:15 PM
Response to Reply #4
63. It was 0% Hispanic in 1800. Hispanics may control Jackson before 12000 AD
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roody Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-12-10 11:44 PM
Response to Original message
5. Que tontos.
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pundaint Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-13-10 01:18 AM
Response to Reply #5
18. 
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KinMd Donating Member (40 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-12-10 11:44 PM
Response to Original message
6. If Jesus came to Jackson NY...
he wouldn't be welcome I guess since he didn't speak a word of English, nor did Moses for that matter.
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Kerrytravelers Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-12-10 11:47 PM
Response to Reply #6
8. English is Jesus' favorite language. I know because it's in the Bible. Somewhere.
:eyes:
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pundaint Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-13-10 02:31 AM
Response to Reply #6
22. Jesus has that tongues thing going for him, and Moses, if he came, judging by biblical accounts
would be here to conquer and destroy us to take our land, and would not be welcome.
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No Elephants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-13-10 03:28 AM
Response to Reply #22
26. I don't think the Bible mentions Jesus ever speaking in tongues. He
probably could have, if He had wanted to, what with being omniscient and all, but he seems to have preferred sticking to Aramaic, then spoken by Arabs, and Hebrew. Not sure the Bible ever mentions Moses conquering a land either.

But, what does any of that have to do with the Jackson law making English the official language?
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pundaint Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-13-10 04:16 AM
Response to Reply #26
31. Exactly my point
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No Elephants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-13-10 05:34 AM
Response to Reply #31
37. I don't think omniscience was your point. I think you mistakenly thought
the Bible says Jesus spoke in tongues, but you're unable to either leave it alone or admit you were mistaken about what the Bible says. If I'm wrong about that, you're pretty bad at expressing your thoughts in English. And I assume that's your first language, too. Tsk, tsk.

And what was "exactly your point" about what the Bible says about Moses?

Sorry, pundaint, but no one's buying it.
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pundaint Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-13-10 11:34 AM
Response to Reply #37
50. Bringing the Bible and Jesus into any argument about legislation is unamerican, Here is your line
with which I was agreeing: "But, what does any of that have to do with the Jackson law making English the official language?"

Shall we agree to avoid ad hominem attacks while discussing policy?
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Steerpike Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-13-10 04:07 AM
Response to Reply #22
29. yeah
facisttown U.S.A. sponsored by monsanto!
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pundaint Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-13-10 01:41 PM
Response to Reply #29
56. Is fascist defined by you as a single official language, or is that just what was on the tile you
picked out of the nazi/communist/socialist/fascist/totalitarian/godless bag of no argument disagreements?
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No Elephants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-13-10 03:00 AM
Response to Reply #6
23. Did, too. Did, too. Did, too. He's omniscient. That includes knowing how to speak English.
Edited on Thu May-13-10 03:04 AM by No Elephants
In fact, some RWer told me (and this really happened) that "many people" believe that Jesus was in the land know known as the U.S. during some period of time where His whereabouts were not writen about in the Bible. (I can't recall now if this person was referring to the time between Jesusu's Bar Mitzvah and the marriage at Cana, or sometime between the marriage of Cana and the crucifixion.)

Of course, no one was here speaking English at that time, but it does show how exceptional this land is. Even God incarnate wanted to be a tourist here. I take it He stayed out of the Arizona area, though, what with not having a visa or anything.

And, by "many people," I assumed this person meant himself and at least one other person he knew.

FYI: He was a college educated, Roman Catholic who had lived all his life in Massachusetts, not an evangelical from a red state where folk from Massachusetts might be referred to as "Northeastern intellectual elite"--as though that were a bad thing.
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pundaint Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-13-10 01:44 PM
Response to Reply #23
57. Check out Mormon mythology, there are lots of people asserting that.
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Sinistrous Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-13-10 12:16 AM
Response to Original message
9. E pluribus unum.
Gee! I wonder what that means.
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No Elephants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-13-10 03:10 AM
Response to Reply #9
25. I think it may mean Julius Caesar would not have been qualified to do business in Jackson, even if
he had been naturalized.
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Igel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-13-10 10:28 AM
Response to Reply #9
46. Hmm...
Perhaps "out of one, many"? No, that's not it.

How about "out of many, many." No, that's not quite it, either.

Perhaps, "out of many, one." That absolutely, positive can't be it. Just one? How exclusionist.
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Sinistrous Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-13-10 10:47 AM
Response to Reply #46
48. Cute.
You seem to have a problem with inclusiveness.

BTW, as I am sure you are aware, the "unum" in that adage refers to a people - a nation, not a person.
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deacon_sephiroth Donating Member (315 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-13-10 12:25 AM
Response to Original message
10. he runs "chains unlimited"
Edited on Thu May-13-10 12:26 AM by deacon_sephiroth
The finger to the land of the chains
What? The land of the free?
Whoever told you that is your enemy
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Cleobulus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-13-10 12:26 AM
Response to Original message
11. What I don't understand is this need for them to "protect" English...
Its not Latin, its a living language that changes over time due to cultural change and linguistic uses, hell, its actually normal for English to adopt foreign words and incorporate them into the language. English itself is a mishmash of probably hundreds of different languages by now, from ancient dead ones to modern languages.

This is one of the many reasons why English is a hard language to learn, so many exceptions to the rules, there's hardly any consistency within English.
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ixion Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-13-10 04:56 AM
Response to Reply #11
34. English is the Borg of languages, and as such, needs no protection
if anything, other languages need protection from English. English is built to simply absorb whatever it finds useful. It is one of the dominant languages on the planet for this reason.

And I say this as an English major.
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Igel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-13-10 11:03 AM
Response to Reply #11
49. There's lots of consistency within English.
In spite of the best efforts of the language regulators, the prescriptivists, to keep it from happening.

We just have a few different classes of verbs and keep some derivational classes separate. In this we're rather like German. Or Russian. You have to learn the classes, true, but native speakers do at the same rate kids that speak Spanish or Mandarin learn those languages.

There are also exceptions that you just learn. Some result from language change, and are eventually disposed of by speakers.

Articles and verbal aspect are bugaboos. Then again, aren't they always? We hear people complain about learning how to use English "the" and the difference between "he goes"/"he's going", but seldom hear about Bulgarians complaining that we English-speakers don't get articles right in Bulgarian or mess up the tense shift to show reported speech. Neither system is easy for language learners to master, but we wring our hands that ours is so much worse. Some people like hand-wringing so much you'd think their hands would simply come unattached at the wrists.

Some weirdnesses are imposed by prescriptivists and should be ignored. However, those are usually markers for "high prestige" and "high learning" English, so those are the things we care about most.

Mencken nicely showed that a lot of "irregularities" and "bad grammar" are completely systematic--even, for most speakers, the "Jake and me went to the store" or "between you and I" follows rules of grammar and are predictable.

It's just that a lot of words aren't transparently built from roots. Some have no "good" root, others have roots that are essentially meaningless. It gives us a wealth of near synonyms, and that's a drawback. Pidgins have far fewer words; creoles have fewer words. If you might run across any of 30k words that's a harder nut to crack than having a set of 10k words to learn.
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struggle4progress Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-13-10 12:31 AM
Response to Original message
12. This has just gotta be a distraction from some small town scandal,
like somebody gettin drunk and wreckin a town vehicle, or somebody embezzlin the fix-a-pothole fund to buy a hottub, or too many questions about what's up between Mr. He and Mrs. She
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Hardrada Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-13-10 12:32 AM
Response to Original message
13. No "Requiem" masses there!
And forget the Latin Rite! Sounds suspicious now anyway.
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Downwinder Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-13-10 01:01 AM
Response to Original message
14. No habeas corpus or other legal terms and rights, and how do Doctors
write prescriptions without Latin.
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pundaint Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-13-10 01:11 AM
Response to Original message
15. There are advantages to having a common tongue. For one, it makes us One People.
As our country drew immigrants from all over the world, each new wave learned English. It allowed them to fully participate. Inability to communicate reduces opportunity for inclusion. We have incorporated all those previous cultures into America, what is different about Spanish?

Language is the most important part of building community.

America as with all nations has a limited capacity for adding new population. I would give first preference to those who would choose to fully integrate with us over those who desired only more land into which to expand the culture of the country they chose to leave - that's not immigration, that's occupation. If you choose to immigrate to America, it is not unreasonable to expect that you will learn the common language.

Telling someone he has to join us to live here is quite different from racism.

I am also opposed to bi-lingual education. Any school-aged individual could master English with a one-year immersion program. This would better prepare the student for success than increasing isolation afforded by permanent special education.

SI Hayakawa saw the need decades ago, he was right then and the folks in NY are right now.

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alp227 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-13-10 01:37 AM
Response to Reply #15
19. I agree with your "common tongue" point, but are you defending this law?
I objected on the grounds that "official English" was one of those silly conservative fantasies about America's Founding Fathers just like those other claims that America was founded as a Christian nation and that George Washington would disagree with health care reform.

"opposed to bi-lingual education"...hmm I don't have much opinion on this, but most critics of BLE usually also are right-wing anti-immigrant hyper-patriotic types (not you, hint hint, a welcome DU member). I went to Wikipedia's article about bilingual education and found a link to this study from a couple of professors.

Little difference in academic performance or growth was found between early-exit and immersion programs by the end of grade 3, although a significant gap exists between the general population and these students. Students in each of these programs progress academically at about the same rate as students in the general population but the gap between their performance and that of the general population remains large. In other words, they tend not to fall further behind academically between first and third grade but they do not bridge the gap to the general population in any significant way. The lack of differences between these two programs refutes the long held popular belief that more instruction in English leads to more achievement in English. The early-exit bilingual students have had less English instruction than those in English immersion, yet performed at the same level.


"Early-exit" means a system "in which Spanish was used for about one-third of the time in kindergarten and first grade with a rapid phase-out thereafter"

With bilingual education can come some more parental support:

Parents of children in the late-exit bilingual programs are more aware that their children have homework and more likely to help them with it than parents in either of the other two programs. According to the report "this is attributed to the fact that the greater use of the child's primary language makes it possible for parents to participate and support their child's learning."


So if you think that the mayor of Jackson, NY is right about English, would you like your hometown to adopt a similar measure? What about your home state, and eventually the federal government?
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pundaint Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-13-10 02:26 AM
Response to Reply #19
21. I read that report from 1991 and it is irrelevant to my suggestion. By immersion, they
mean a full curriculum taught in English only, without special classes. My suggestion is to teach only the English language and related cultural considerations for the initial year. The study you cite actually supports my point that bilingual classes keep the students performing at a low level throughout their educational career.

In an effort to make it easy for them, we make them more likely to fail.

If you would be an American, whatever your native tongue, your primary language needs to be English.

I support the law in the same way I support local ecology laws, and local handgun restrictions - it would be better if the national government handled it, but they lack the requisite testicles to do so. In the absence of a better alternative, the locals can run their town however they choose barring federal or state constitutional conflicts. While this is a bottom-half agenda item for me, I would support the law in my town.
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No Elephants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-13-10 04:14 AM
Response to Reply #19
30. You agree that a common language makes a group one people?
Then how did humanity ever manage until now without laws about an official language?

I know kids of immigrants--very white kids, if it matters--who were born in the U.S., but grew up in pocket ghettos. In their cildhood photos, they look like adorable American kids. Yet, they could not speak English when they started school. Did that mean they were not part of the American people until they learned English?

And, if a common language makes individuals "one people," why did folks who could all speak the same language war on each other? Please see Reply 28 as well.

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pundaint Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-13-10 04:30 AM
Response to Reply #30
32. A common language is very important in uniting a group, there are additional considerations too.
Correct me if I'm wrong but humanity has been managing with lots of wars and strife.

What language did these American white kids speak? And WTF are you talking about in your third paragraph.

Language is not the only requirement. Aside from Revolutions and civil wars could you specify 3 wars between people speaking the same language? Go ahead, you have all of history to choose from.
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No Elephants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-13-10 05:23 AM
Response to Reply #32
36. "Humanity has been managing with lots of wars and strife." My post covers that.
Wars seem to have little to do with one group or another having a common language among themselves.

"What language did these American white kids speak?"

Interesting that you even ask. Why on earth would that matter to anyone who isn't prejudiced against one or more groups?


"Aside from Revolutions and civil wars could you specify 3 wars between people speaking the same language? Go ahead, you have all of history to choose from."

Yes, I most definitely can; and I'm not even a world historian. Most people who know even a little history could, if they thought for a minute or two.

However, this thread is about a law enacted recently in a U.S. town, Jackson, NY, making English the official language of that American town. And, you were defending that modern law enacted in the U.S. by claiming that a common language unites "us" as one people. So, silly ole me thought the American experience was the relevant one for purposes of this thread and your claim.

"And WTF are you talking about in your third paragraph."

Well, since you asked with such civility, do you really have any right to expect me to spend my time and energy giving you a response any more polite than, "Fuck off, jerk?" Besides, since you and I apparently don't have a common language, any more than we have a common political or social viewpoint, it would probably only be a waste of my time anyway. So, we're done here.
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pundaint Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-13-10 04:30 AM
Response to Reply #30
33. A common language is very important in uniting a group, there are additional considerations too.
Correct me if I'm wrong but humanity has been managing with lots of wars and strife.

What language did these American white kids speak? And WTF are you talking about in your third paragraph.

Language is not the only requirement. Aside from Revolutions and civil wars could you specify 3 wars between people speaking the same language? Go ahead, you have all of history to choose from.
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muriel_volestrangler Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-13-10 05:00 AM
Response to Reply #33
35. There are hundreds
War of the Pacific
Austro-Prussian War
Iraq-Kuwait War
War of 1812

just to take examples for Spanish, German, Arabic and English.
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No Elephants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-13-10 06:02 AM
Response to Reply #35
38. Well, M_V, I responded to pundaint before I saw your post, but thanks for proving my point.
Off the top of my head, I would add Italian and Latin to Arabic, Spanish, German and English. And Korean. And vietnamese. And, I'm guessing some of the trives mentioned in the Bible that were constantly warring with each other spoke the same language or languages. They occupied a very small area. And on and on.

I'm guessing armies led by Genghis Khan and Attila the Hun fought peoples who spoke one or more languages they spoke, too.

And all kinds of tribal wars all over the world from the dawn of civilization, on every continent, from the aboriginines to Native Americans. And members of migratory peoples.

Moreover, an army is not a linguistic monolith. People who spoke Japanese, Italian and German were in the U.S. military during WW II, killing people who spoke the same language, had the same customs and ate the same foods and dishes they did. None of those things made Japanese Americans, Italian Americans or German Americans in our miitary feel they were "one people" with those on whom their nation had declared war.

But, IMO, the official language movement in the U.S. really has very little to do with language or history anyway.

:shrug:
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pundaint Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-13-10 11:57 AM
Response to Reply #35
51. Thanks for the citings. War of the Pacific, check, Austro-Prussian - really a civil war,
War of 1812 - really an extension of Britain vs. France. Iraq-Kuwait - I will not easily be convinced that this wasn't really between America and Iraq.

But I see that I was over general in that assertion.
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HiFructosePronSyrup Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-13-10 12:52 PM
Response to Reply #19
55. So would having one race, one religion, and one sexual orientation.
Pure strength of will.
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No Elephants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-13-10 04:03 AM
Response to Reply #15
28. Wow. So many false statements stated as fact in one post.
Edited on Thu May-13-10 04:39 AM by No Elephants
Let me take just your first one:

"A common language makes us one people." Baloney.

Earlier peoples traveled, too. In fact, many of them were perennially migratory. Various languages have existed within the same nation since nations were little more than small tribes. (How people came to speak many different languages is described in the Old Testament.) Yet the people within those tribes and nations managed to live and work together toward the same basic goals and be "one people," despite the diversity in language, country of origin, etc. (What does "one people" mean anyway? Sounds a little Invasion of the Body Snatchers type creepy.)

America, in particular, has always been diverse and has often even prided itself on the richness its immigrants have provided it (in more ways than one). It's only now that American are going bananas about undocumented immigrants and losing their "white culture" that people have been claiming that it's having one official language that makes us "a people" (whatever the hell that means). If it's not racism, it's xenophobia, which may have had a purpose when our forefathers lived in caves, but is oh so Bronze Age.

Many languages were spoken in the Colonies--English, French, Dutch, Spanish, etc.--yet colonists managed to unite into "one people" against the Brits--with whom most colonist DID share a common language, ironically enough. On the other hand, most or all of the Loyalists shared the same language with the Revolutionaries, yet they were not one people with the Revolutionaries. They hightailed it out of here, caucusing in perfect English at their English-speaking fellow colonists.

The North and South shared a language and a lot more. Hell, some of them even shared a set of parents. Yet, they were not "one people." Language was not what divided them, nor did a common language make them "one people."

During World War II, immigrants in the U.S. spoke many languages (contrary to another of you assertions-- that each wave of immigrants learned English. Don't know what I can say about that one, beyond saying it's simply factually untrue. The kids of immigrants learned English, but many of their parents managed only the most broken English, if any, until the day they died.)

Yet, we were united as "one people" to defeat the Axis, including our German, Italian and Japanese troops. What interfered with our being "one people" was not our genetic or linguistic diversity, but racism and xenophobia, which led to internment of a huge percentage of Japanese Americans, including those who were born here and whose parents had been born here, and who spoke perfect English-American. Ditto the much smaller percentage of German Americans who were interned, despite a common language.

Apparently, its not a shared language that makes us one people, nor a multiplicity of languages that divides us as a people.

When one group of people makes differences in language an issue, however, because of money or xenophobia or a desire to assert supremacy, or any other reason, though, THAT does divide us.

P.S. Why in a nation that has long prided itself on ethnic and religious diversity, which obvsiously includes linguistic diversity. now suddently become so fixated on being "one people" and having an official language? And why is this primarily the fixation of the Republicans?
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pundaint Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-13-10 12:34 PM
Response to Reply #28
53. That Bible reference you make - would that be the Tower of Babel myth where
a group of humans were working toward a common goal which omnipotence didn't like? Omnipotence, believing as I do, gave them separate languages to destroy their ability to work as one.

There is more to building a community than Language, for sure, but Language is among the most significant.

And there are more things that separate besides than language.

The fact that problems have been overcome from time to time when the need was sufficiently great is not an effective argument for allowing the problem to exist unnecessarily.

There is a common cost to accommodate multiple languages for official business. I evaluate the common benefit to be well under the cost, so I'm for a single official language.

This has nothing to do with diversity, which I very much support. There is great value in bringing ideas and points of view from everywhere into America, but to get the greatest benefit, we all must be able to communicate about them with the greatest clarity.

If I were arguing in Brazil, I would be pro Portuguese as an official language.

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slackmaster Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-13-10 08:29 AM
Response to Reply #15
43. Ein Volk, Ein Reich...
Edited on Thu May-13-10 08:30 AM by slackmaster
Ein Fhrer!

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roody Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-13-10 10:26 AM
Response to Reply #15
45. otro tonto
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pundaint Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-13-10 12:51 PM
Response to Reply #45
54. This insult just illustrates my point. Instead of offering an argument, or refuting mine, you call
me a fool in a language understood not by the group with whom you are participating, but by only by a portion of the group. This is small, and the issue is insignificant, but your insult has divided us into those who know you offer no argument, and those who may think you are invoking the Lone Ranger's assistant.
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happygoluckytoyou Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-13-10 02:13 AM
Response to Original message
20. RELATED STORY Argyle announces official socks
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timo Donating Member (890 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-13-10 06:42 AM
Response to Original message
39. spanish only
in a small town about 20 minutes from here, they conduct all town business in spanish only.
right on the river and they have an ordinance AGAINST border patrol as well.
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KillCapitalism Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-13-10 06:57 AM
Response to Original message
40. About language...
I can maybe see where they're coming from. I don't see it as a racist thing, to me it's something to improve the economy & community in that area.

I'm not sure why in the 21st century that we don't have a one-world language. Think of how many barriers a one-world language would break down. It makes sense & that's why it'll never happen.
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Karenina Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-13-10 08:15 AM
Response to Reply #40
41. Errra... ENGLISH IS TODAY
the GLOBAL LANGUAGE of business.

:rofl: :rofl: :rofl:

What do you call someone who speaks

3 languages? Trilingual or multilingual

2 languages? Bilingual

1 language? Wait for it...
.
.
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AMERICAN.



:rofl: :rofl: :rofl:
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Igel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-13-10 03:02 PM
Response to Reply #41
58. I've travelled a bit.
My anecdotal evidence is the same as ESL research: You're as X-lingual as you have need, opportunity, interest, and exposure.

My mother was taught a hard lesson. "Everybody speaks English," she said. So in Boulogne, France, she figured it would be a snap. She found nobody who could tell her even just prices in French. I translated.

In Russia, we went off the beaten track, often away from the tourist centers. She found nobody to speak English to except where tourists were expected. Oh, and some young businessmen, who needed English. Everybody studied English. Nearly everybody forgot English. Like most Americans with Spanish or French. Ya stal perevodchikom. I was my parents interpreter.

In Poland, sans mama this time, we found few English speakers. More spoke Russian. Not a whole lot more. Mowisz po-polsku?

Finland was better. We stayed mostly downtown. Brno? Worse. They spoke German--Austrian German--because that's where the money was. Prague? Staromesto, English; Nove mesto, much less English.

Most of the foreigners I met in the US, at work and in school? They spoke English. They passed the TOEFL or were faculty, or they were here to do some other business. The companies are hardly likely to send monolingual Hindi speakers to Houston. Then again, it was precisely parallel to all the non-Austrian foreigners in Brno: As far as they could tell, most people in the world speak Czech. Why? Because a lot of the foreigners that went there *knew* there was only really Czech and German spoken, so they went there to study the language or already knew it. Otherwise they'd simply go elsewhere.

So what do you call a monolingual person? Czech, Russian, Polish, Mexican, Greek. . . and American.

And another trait of American exceptionalism bites the dust.
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Karenina Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-13-10 03:51 PM
Response to Reply #58
59. I'm not sure exactly what your point is...
MINE is that English is ALREADY a global staple. Any day that I cross the Domplatz, I hear a multitude of languages peppered with
English words and phrases. If one wishes to progress in business, ENGLISH is a requirement. If you are positing that finding people in the boonies who have been taught but are not required in their everyday lives to pay homage to lingua franca means that they are somewhat deficient, I question your understanding.
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slackmaster Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-13-10 08:28 AM
Response to Original message
42. The mother tongue of English is as American as pizza and tacos!
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LanternWaste Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-13-10 08:38 AM
Response to Original message
44. They're going to refer to San Antonio, Texas as...
They're going to refer to San Antonio, Texas as 'Saint Anthony, Those-who-are-friends?'

Seems a little unwieldy, but I imagine provincialism usually is.
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sakabatou Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-13-10 10:31 AM
Response to Original message
47. If I ever go there, I'll speak in Japanese just to piss them off.
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MellowDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-13-10 12:24 PM
Response to Original message
52. If you think this is bad...
look at national French laws about their language. They even have a language gestapo that invents new "French" words for new things that didn't have words for them before, such as computers.
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Vidar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-13-10 05:23 PM
Response to Original message
60. More wet dreams for Palin & Buchanan.
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lynne Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-13-10 06:26 PM
Response to Original message
62. I can understand it from the financial standpoint of a municipality or county -
- as having one official language eliminates the necessity of the city/county providing signage or city/county paperwork and documents in more than one language. It also eliminates the necessity of the city providing non-English speaking persons with a translator should they have official city or court business. By denoting English as the official language, anyone not speaking English becomes responsible for securing a translator should they need one.

With tight city and county budgets, I expect we'll be seeing more of this.

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