Archive for Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Let’s talk

October 31, 2006


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,



ranger73 10 years, 3 months ago

why do you have to press one for english?

classclown 10 years, 3 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.

ranger73 10 years, 3 months ago

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

ranger73 10 years, 3 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.

craigers 10 years, 3 months ago

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

ranger73 10 years, 3 months ago

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

Christine Pennewell Davis 10 years, 3 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.

Christine Pennewell Davis 10 years, 3 months ago

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

BOE 10 years, 3 months ago

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

ranger73 10 years, 3 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.

ranger73 10 years, 3 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...

prairiepollyana 10 years, 3 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...

Linda Endicott 10 years, 3 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.

Christine Pennewell Davis 10 years, 3 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

jonas 10 years, 3 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.

prairiepollyana 10 years, 3 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...

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 10 years, 3 months ago

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

ctutgo 10 years, 3 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.

mom_of_three 10 years, 3 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.

Mike Ford 10 years, 3 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.

ranger73 10 years, 3 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?

craigers 10 years, 3 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.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 10 years, 3 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.

geekin_topekan 10 years, 3 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!!

Linda Endicott 10 years, 3 months ago

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

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 10 years, 3 months ago

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

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