Speak English, get out of jail free

Mark Mandel thnidu at GMAIL.COM
Fri Mar 28 02:49:17 UTC 2008

On Thu, Mar 27, 2008 at 10:16 PM, Dennis Baron <debaron at uiuc.edu> wrote:

>  Instead I want to focus on the practice of a very American form of =20
>  language abuse.
>  For many years, young speakers of Spanish, Navajo, Chinese, and other =20=
>  minority languages in this country were beaten, humiliated, or given =20
>  detentions if they used their first language in classrooms or on the =20
>  schoolyard. Such punishments did not accelerate the students' =20
>  adoption of English. As the average high schooler chafing under a =20
>  language requirement will attest, you can't make someone speak a =20
>  =93foreign=94 language. Physical force and corporal punishment do even =20=
>  less to secure linguistic compliance.....

American Sign Language, too.

Mark Mandel

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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