english, the official national language

Dave Robertson ddr11 at UVIC.CA
Tue May 23 18:17:15 UTC 2006

Maybe I missed discussion of this on ADS-L, in which case forgive this
duplication.  Listening to President Bush's speech on the radio several days
ago, the way he delivered the following text made him unintentionally sound
as though he considered learning English to be a penalty:

"I believe that illegal immigrants who have roots in our country and want to
stay should have to pay a meaningful penalty for breaking the law … to pay
their taxes … to learn English … "

The written version of the speech makes pretty clear that penalties, taxes &
English are three distinct requirements.  But there are those who would
readily believe that Bush's delivery, which sounded like a colon after
"breaking the law", amounts to a Freudian slip.

There are also those who might feel English-as-a-punishment would be fair
retribution for GW "I admit it, I am not one of the great linguists" Bush's
support of a national-language policy.

--Dave Robertson (a US citizen)

University of Victoria, BC, Canada

----- Original Message -----

From: "Beverly Flanigan" <flanigan at OHIO.EDU>
Sent: Tuesday, May 23, 2006 9:56 AM
Subject: Re: english, the official national language

> ---------------------- Information from the mail
> header -----------------------
> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       Beverly Flanigan <flanigan at OHIO.EDU>
> Subject:      Re: english, the official national language
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> Thanks, Dennis.  I wonder if anyone heard Geoff Nunberg's excellent
> commentary on NPR on Saturday?

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