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Archive for Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Let’s talk

October 31, 2006

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To the editor:

Oct. 16, you published a letter from someone who is concerned about the current discussion in Kansas to make English the official state language. He said the idea was, "simple-minded, narrow-minded and mostly mean-spirited, racist and ignorant."

I disagree strongly with that opinion. I think it would be wonderful if the entire world spoke the same language. Poor communication is often the reason behind conflict and grievance.

Several decades ago, Dwight Eisenhower introduced a program called People to People International to promote understanding among the nations of the world by groups traveling to meet with their counterparts in other countries. His idea was that if we understood each other better, we'd be more likely to get along and less likely to fight or make war.

It only makes good common sense to have a common language in America. I'm not suggesting that any culture be lost. That need not happen. But it would help this state and this country if we understood what each other said. How can anyone doubt that? That should be a goal of an intelligent society.

It's costing a fortune to try to address the multilingual residents in the United States. It makes good economic sense for us to have a uniform language. Since probably 95 percent of those living in the United States already speak English, it seems the logical choice as a common language. This is a practical and prudent direction for a diverse but enlightened society to take.

Sarah Peters,

Lawrence

Comments

holygrailale 7 years, 5 months ago

49 comments and no one makes a joke about (or even mentions) "Esperanto"???

We're not in shape, people. Not "game-ready" at all.

I'm ashamed of all of you. You call yourselves "bloggers"???

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logicsound04 7 years, 5 months ago

"Anyway back to the subject...If english was made the official language, does that mean when you call the bank, or any other automated system the wait and hassle of navagating thru it to speak to someone will only take 20 minutes instead of 30?"


No, it doesn't, because as long as Spanish is fluently spoken by a large contingent of the bank's (or any other business') potential customer base, they will do it for the sake of selling their product.

You see, making English the "official" language doesn't change reality. People in the U.S. (a large number of people) speak both English and Spanish, and if catering your business to multiple languages will increase your customer base, then more power. The banks don't do it because they have to--the cost of providing the service is much lower than the additional revenue from more customers.

========================================

"Let's keep some tradions and let's start with a stand on our language..."


While a desire to make English the official language is not racist, it is xenophobic (the two are very different) and it is most certainly uniformed. What gives you the right to declare English the official language on behalf of all of us? The colonies never would have been able to succeed without the help of the French--maybe French should be our offical language.

And as far as traditions go, the founding fathers EXPLICITLY decided NOT to declare an official language for obvious reasons--as a country founded by immigrants from numerous countries, they felt it wrong to give the impression of exclusionism. So, I am fine with keeping tradition strong.

Here's to another 230 years of no official language of the United States!!!!!

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Marion Lynn 7 years, 5 months ago

I already speak the "universal" language to which you refer.

If I may borrow and slightly modify a quote from the movie, "The Lord Of War":

"I have a flair for languages. But I soon discovered that what talks best is dollars, dinars, drachmas, rubles, rupees and pounds ++++ing sterling."

So has anyone else who matters.

Thanks.

Marion.

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jonas 7 years, 5 months ago

If there ever is an international language, I hope to god that it's NOT english. It's a b@#$$ of a language to learn for anyone not born here. And many who were.

The paranoia sure is running rampant on this particular board, though.

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Marion Lynn 7 years, 5 months ago

scenebooster is an USA hating Pseudo-liberal/Neo-socialist so the sight of the US flag causes he/she/it to run at both ends.

Thnaks.

Marion.

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craigers 7 years, 5 months ago

scenebooster, those shirts are super cool, so I don't know why you are dissing them!!

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TheRealDecider 7 years, 5 months ago

Verso 1

Amanece, lo veis?, a la luz de la aurora? lo que tanto aclamamos la noche al caer? sus estrellas sus franjas flotaban ayer en el fiero combate en señal de victoria, fulgor de lucha, al paso de la libertad. Por la noche decÃ-an: "Se va defendiendo!"

Coro

Oh decid! Despliega aðn Su hermosura estrellada sobre tierra de libres, la bandera sagrada?

Verso 2

Sus estrellas, sus franjas, la libertad, somos iguales. Somos hermanos. Es nuestro himno. En el fiero combate en señal de victoria, Fulgor de lucha (Mi gente sigue luchando) al paso de la libertad (Ya es tiempo de romper las cadenas.) Por la noche decÃ-an: "!Se va defendiendo!" Oh decid! Despliega aðn su hermosura estrellada sobre tierra de libres, la bandera sagrada?

Pretty sweet, huh?! Gracias pinche puto pendejo basosos!

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scenebooster 7 years, 5 months ago

""..........if you want jobs here...speak english...if you want rights to our medical system...speak english...if you want your children to be educated in our school system...speak english...if you want the right to carry a flag and demonstrate for the rights of any nationality...carry an American flag and SPEAK ENGLISH..."

Oooooh, prairiepollyanna, you're so intolerant."

I bet one of you owns a shirt made to look like the flag.

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BOE 7 years, 5 months ago

The necessity of creating a loophole for Bush would probably be a major stumbling block, though.

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TheRealDecider 7 years, 5 months ago

You poor, stupid scared white people. Your ignorance and racism go hand in hand. Are you so afraid of the Spanish-speaking population that you need a law to protect yourselves from their language, from their culture? Afraid maybe you have no culture yourselves or that maybe you're just too dumb to learn another language? Your false sense of superiority would be in jeopardy? Or that you'll have to hit an extra button at the ATM. And to hide behind the idea that it's economic issue is even more ridiculous. Obviously Sarah Peters does not understand that language and culture are intertwined. And just for the record, the Star Spangled Banner is a turd of a song, it hasn't always been the national anthem and compared a lot of other countries' anthems it's pretty friggin lame. Key actually stole the tune. I'd actually rather hear it sung in Spanish, Pig Latin, Farsi or Russian every now and then just to spice it up and make it fun! ;)

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craigers 7 years, 5 months ago

I do believe that all in the United States should learn English to better our communication together. However, the prompts on the phone? Come on people, there is a learning curve when learning a new language. I wish I learned Spanish or some other second language. It would be beneficial to be able to help others and communicate internationally. This isn't a bad thing. If we all want English as the national language and have everybody speak it, then we must be patient while those that are in this country learn it.

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Christine Pennewell Davis 7 years, 5 months ago

polly just look at my post and you see you are doing ok me well no hope really.

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Christine Pennewell Davis 7 years, 5 months ago

well looking at my post I think I need more coffee, or go back to school sorry people realy bad typing day. Dum-dums to small tootsie rolls

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prairiepollyana 7 years, 5 months ago

Intolerant? I am so sick of political correctness in this nation because everyone is afraid of the ACLU...if this were written by Shakespere if would problably be put as "To sue or not to sue, that is the question"...we as Americans have gone overboard to be politically correct and we are seeing the United States slipping away. Let's keep some tradions and let's start with a stand on our language...

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ranger73 7 years, 5 months ago

I thought you already had to do that momma-

I'll probably just go with the dum-dums-they aren't as good as tootsie roll pops but cost less.

Just not the fake tootsie rolls that are different flavors-those suck.

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Christine Pennewell Davis 7 years, 5 months ago

To make english the official lan. does not mean people must stop knowing other lan. or dialects of an almost forgotten one it just means if you want to be a citizen then one must learn english. This does ot have to big te big deal people want it to be.

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ranger73 7 years, 5 months ago

Anyway, on to more important things- Snickers or Kit Kats?

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ranger73 7 years, 5 months ago

Gee-I always thought the official government language was b.s.

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Linda Endicott 7 years, 5 months ago

It wouldn't apply to businesses, Ranger, just official government business.

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Marion Lynn 7 years, 5 months ago

See?

Told you.

The common sense conclusion that English should be the official language of this nation, very much as other coutnries have official languages, has been termed "racist", "xenophobic" and "discriminatory".

Too many wimps out there.

Thanks.

Marion.

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Tom Shewmon 7 years, 5 months ago

"..........if you want jobs here...speak english...if you want rights to our medical system...speak english...if you want your children to be educated in our school system...speak english...if you want the right to carry a flag and demonstrate for the rights of any nationality...carry an American flag and SPEAK ENGLISH..."

Oooooh, prairiepollyanna, you're so intolerant.

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ranger73 7 years, 5 months ago

how about attic greek? no one knows it, it's a dead language since no current country uses it, so if you mispronounce anything, you can't make anyone mad, and if there isn't a word for something, you can make a new word? Well, never mind, I think the Vatican still corresponds in Attic so that would definitely piss off at least half the world.

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 7 years, 5 months ago

No, passage of such a law will only mean that a new non-issue will need to be created to distract from important, real issues.

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ranger73 7 years, 5 months ago

oh, and just to make a few more people mad at me this morning-the Star Spangled Banner in a different language, to a different tune? That is just flat out wrong.

Anyway back to the subject...If english was made the official language, does that mean when you call the bank, or any other automated system the wait and hassle of navagating thru it to speak to someone will only take 20 minutes instead of 30?

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Mike Ford 7 years, 5 months ago

as a speaker of at least five languages that predate all of this english speak (nahollo anumpulili) and whose language gave you the words Oklahoma and okay(hoke), all on this continent pre-1541, I can say that this letter is eurocentric and assumptive in nature. I've been to Oregon where there are Mexican Indigenous people who speak Mixtec or Olmec. let's get rid of both of the immigrant languages, Spanish and English. Let's make all of these people learn an Indigenous language as the missionaries did when they spread the scourge known as Christianity. History at it's most honest.

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 7 years, 5 months ago

This is a solution looking for a problem. Immigrants to this country DO learn English. No new (xenophobic) laws are required.

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Linda Endicott 7 years, 5 months ago

Although the original question was about making English the official language in Kansas, not nation-wide, I think it's a good idea to make it nation-wide.

95% may already speak English as their primary language, mom-of-three, but for those 5% who do not, we are still required to provide government forms in whatever language they use, and in some cases interpreters. They are required to do this for children in our school systems. This seems especially ludicrous for those who are applying to become U.S. citizens.

If you want to become a U.S. citizen, then you shouldn't balk at learning English. It's not like people from other countries didn't know before they got here that English is our primary language.

While there may be an initial cost in making English the official language, it would save lots of money in the long run.

Though I fear that even if English was the official language, they wouldn't enforce it, and it would be a hollow law.

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ranger73 7 years, 5 months ago

Why is requiring someone in america to be able to speak english and learn english so terrible? If you go to another country-especially to live, work, or become a naturalized citizen of that country, wouldn't you want-nay-need to learn that country's language?

This has nothing to do with racism, or bigotry, or anything like that-nor am I saying don't respect other cultures, etc. but why can't other cultures respect ours? If you carry an american flag in other countries-there is a real possibility of being shot, arrested, tortured, etc. How many different cars driving down Iowa st. have a German flag, or Mexican flag, or Irish flag somewhere on it?

Something to chew on...Now everyone can unload on me for being some nut-job left-wing ultra-conservative flag waver...

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Marion Lynn 7 years, 5 months ago

I noticed this morning on the ATM that I must "Press One For English".

Why should I have to?

Why does the machine not tell users to "Press One For Any Language Other Than English"?

Fear, that's why.

Fear of being termed "racist".

Thanks.

Marion.

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ranger73 7 years, 5 months ago

why do you have to press one for english?

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prairiepollyana 7 years, 5 months ago

I have to agree with Marion...if you want jobs here...speak english...if you want rights to our medical system...speak english...if you want your children to be educated in our school system...speak english...if you want the right to carry a flag and demonstrate for the rights of any nationality...carry an American flag and SPEAK ENGLISH...

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Marion Lynn 7 years, 5 months ago

Lech mich am Arsch, mein lieber Bozo.

Vielen Dank.

Marion.

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Tom Shewmon 7 years, 5 months ago

We nearly spoke German here because of Gutenbergs' printing press.

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 7 years, 5 months ago

I hope that means you will never mangle the German language on this forum again, Marion.

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Marion Lynn 7 years, 5 months ago

Yes and so is "bi-lingual education"

Sorry, Mr/Mrs./Miss "I Don't speak English"!

Here in the USA, we speak English.

Learn it.

I am not obligated to learn whatever language it is that you grew up speaking.

You wanted to come here; LEARN ENGLISH!

Thanks.

Marioni.

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Tom Shewmon 7 years, 5 months ago

Affirmative Action is unadultered racism.

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Marion Lynn 7 years, 5 months ago

Well, I see that "Mom" has played the race card farily early on, letting everyone know that she is completely ignorant of what "racism" is.

"Racism" is NOT making a language the official one of the land.

I wish that these namby-pamby people who trot out the term "racism" would get a life and go find out what racism really is.

Thanks.

Marion.

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geekin_topekan 7 years, 5 months ago

"...I disagree strongly with that opinion. I think it would be wonderful if the entire world spoke the same language. Poor communication is often the reason behind conflict and grievance." +++++ Agreed!! Lets all learn Spanish.End of problem.Let's communicate!!

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Tom Shewmon 7 years, 5 months ago

ctutgo,

You're new to the forum. You're correct, the secular progressive, liberal, close-minded, intolerant, mean-spirited, ignorant, narrow-minded, racist, bigoted, far-left blogonut, Bush-hating folks do get pretty out of control. ;)

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mom_of_three 7 years, 5 months ago

If 95% of people in this country already speak English, then why spend money making it the national language. It doesn't make any sense. You will still have signs, documents, recordings, etc. in English and Spanish so those who are learning English can better understand things while they are learning it. Why only in Spanish - because that is the majority of immigrants. I am sure in some states there are signs, etc in other languages.
I don't think Sarah's opinion is racist - it's only that, her opinion.

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ctutgo 7 years, 5 months ago

The only simple minded, narrow minded, mean spirited, and ignorant seem to be those who continually post on the LJW idiotic comments just to get attention. Yes, I read the posts, and rarely comment on something I feel strongly about. But I have noticed that there are those who feel compelled to make insulting remarks about every letter written to the editor. Sarah, your letter was well thought out and eloquently written. Those who don't agree have every right to post intelligent comments of debate. That is what free speech is all about. I would like to see less of what has, unfortunately, become the norm here and more intelligent conversation.

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Tom Shewmon 7 years, 5 months ago

classclown, you forgot 'intolerant'......

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Marion Lynn 7 years, 5 months ago

Yeah; just ask me!

Thanks.

Marion.

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classclown 7 years, 5 months ago

Brace yourself Sarah. Plenty of people will be on here later to proclaim you are simple-minded, narrow-minded, mean-spirited, racist and ignorant.

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i_tching 7 years, 5 months ago

Even people who speak the same language don't always "speak the same language."

So we may as well have many.

But I know what the writer means.

Heheheh.

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