official English

Douglas Bigham TlhovwI at AOL.COM
Mon Jun 4 21:48:01 UTC 2001

Even given all this fear of Official English, I still do not NOT support it (but I still don't DO support it either, I've been trying to make up my mind for about 3 months). With that in mind. . .

1.) Laws often "state the obvious" (i.e. murder is bad, umkay); that is a poor argument against this bill.

2.) I still believe that the United States seriously lacks a uniting factor for it's citizens.  Many other countries have something like common ethnos, religion, ancestry, values/tradtitions, etc.  Since the United States has none of these, lanuage seems to me to be a good starting point, especially since it is so obvious already.

3.) The bill, as I read it, does not include any language-exclusions.  It even provides for many exceptions where a second language should be employed.  It does require a rather harsh reading level.  However, this same harshness could be used to support Bilingual e Edu/ ESL funding.  Since the influx of immigrants does not seem to be dropping (as I hope it never does), then our tax money can either be spent on in-effective border patrols or more ESL/Biling. programs to allow these people to grasp english.  Rather than leading to racism, this bill can be turned around.  As English is the official language, everyone will be appropriately funded to learn it, creating millions (maybe) of youth/young-adults speaking 2 languages.  Kids in Ohio will then be at the 1 language disadvantage and biling programs will be introduced.  Before too long, everyone will have a bilingual program, all thanks to Official Enlgish.

Given, this is a WAY optimistic view.  However, this is no less grounded in fact (it's somewhat similar to the language policy for the E.U.) than the pessimst view where we suddenly turn into a nation of biggots and racist morons.

I still don't know.

Douglas S. Bigham
Southern Illinois University - Carbondale

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