Owner of veggie fast food stand bans English

Dennis Baron debaron at UIUC.EDU
Tue Apr 1 03:54:16 UTC 2008

There's a new post on the Web of Language:

Owner of veggie fast food stand bans English

April 1, 2008
Special to the Web of Language.

Sarah Josepha Hale, owner of the popular L.A. eatery, Vegan King, has  
forbidden her employees to speak English. Hale has strongly urged  
customers not to use the language either, it has been reported.

One radical enemy of English floated a suggestion to ban the language  
as long ago as 1996, but the plan was treated as if it were some kind  
of April Fool’s prank.

But Hale, whose restaurant claims to serve the best tofu imitation- 
cheese steaks in California, read the ban English essay and was moved  
to do just that.

The long-time vegan activist and language rights advocate complained  
to the L.A. Weekly that when her employees spoke English at work, she  
never knew what they were saying. “They might be talking about me  
behind my back, making fun of me” she told the newspaper.

Hale added, “Speaking only English like that, they wouldn’t be able  
to read the safety manuals or deal with emergencies. I mean, what if  
the tofu caught fire?” . . . .

read the rest on The Web of Language


Dennis Baron
Professor of English and Linguistics
Department of English                                   	
University of Illinois	

608 S. Wright St.
Urbana, IL 61801

office: 217-244-0568
fax: 217-333-4321


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