official english legislation

Peter A. McGraw pmcgraw at LINFIELD.EDU
Fri Jun 1 23:03:50 UTC 2001

I have no idea how to bring this about, but why couldn't the Congress just
pass a law declaring English the "official language" of the U.S. and
leaving out all the specific applications?  It would be an empty gesture,
but it might satisfy xenophobic representatives and/or constituents (the
latter probably wouldn't be paying a lot of attention to the details)
without having any practical effect that would hurt anybody.  Maybe having
made their point, however vacuously, the likes of Bob Barr would then shut
up and go on to other things.

Or is there some flaw in my reasoning (e.g., terminal naivete)?  Would the
mere presence of the words "official language" automatically create further
mischief, even if none was specified in the law?

                               Peter A. McGraw
                   Linfield College   *   McMinnville, OR
                            pmcgraw at

More information about the Ads-l mailing list