Saturday, September 05, 2009

Speak American!

Joe posted this video over at the Mr. Verb plaza. It's. Amazing.

The English Only movement is fascinating. So often driven at the same time by such pride and such insecurity. Such assuredness and such fear. Combine that confused stance with the dynamics of the current health insurance volley, and you've got a roiling mass of 'We have a right to tell you how to speak.' I have to imagine that the same boos that are elicited by a reasoned dismissal of death panel rumors or the calm denial of nefarious motivation, are also elicited by the sound of a question asked in an unknown language: I.e. They simply boo when you say something they have no way of processing.


  1. I am appalled. What an utter lack of respect.

  2. Alvarez can't speak English?

  3. and your point casey? is he the boorish one? really now.

  4. No... I kinda knew I shouldn't ask that question. But, I mean, if I'm in Mexico attending one of your future-lectures and you speak Spanish and I speak Spanish, I'm gonna ask my question in Spanish, because most of the people in the crowd are most fluent in Spanish. Even if 20% of the crowd speaks English.

    But obviously the crowd is boorish here... but let's not pretend that lots of civilized nations don't prefer one language over others. Try speaking not-French in France, for instance. They'll boo you. Well nevermind. I fold. Obviously an enlightened bunch wouldn't boo in this situation.

  5. Didn't you say you'd say "armadeeyo" in front of your cousins? Isn't that because that's easier on their ears? I say "pop" when I'm in Michigan and "soda" here because if I say "pop" here the checkout girl can't hear me right... she usually says, "coffee?"

    Then I have to say "soda" to clarify.

    In fact... now that I'm thinking about it. I'd like to put in a request for a post on multi-lingualism within a shared culture/state. I'm not arguing yet. Just not blinking when say "really now." I'd like to know more. How does the Union not fall into faction if it's divided along linguistic lines? Again: I'm not arguing anything... not hoping to mandate English only or whatever. Just wondering what will happen in the future when 30% of Americans are unintelligible to the other 70%.


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