English spoken here: Arizona moves from English-only to stop-and-deport

Dennis Baron debaron at ILLINOIS.EDU
Sun May 16 00:28:12 UTC 2010

There's a new post on the Web of Language:  English spoken here:  
Arizona moves from English-only to stop-and-deport

Tiny Jackson, New York (pop. 1,718), has one thing that its big  
neighbor, New York City, three hours to the south, lacks: English is  
its official language. A new law passed in Jackson last month requires  
that all town business be conducted in English – not that there is  
much business in Jackson, which has no schools, markets, gas stations,  
or places of worship.

Nor does English seem to be in immediate danger in Jackson. According  
to the 2000 Census, 97.2% of its residents are monolingual white  
anglophones. The town is not without diversity: inhabitants include a  
small number of African Americans, three Native Americans, eight  
Asians, and nineteen Hispanics. Only 11 of the Hispanics speak  
Spanish, and none of the Asians speaks Chinese. There are also three  
speakers of Tagalog and six German-speaking residents, but Jackson’s  
new official language law will put a stop to all of that.

Jackson is far from alone in declaring English official. Joining the  
list of America's English-Only towns and cities, last March, Prescott,  
Arizona (pop. 30,000, with 2,200 Spanish speakers), tore down a 2010  
Census banner strung across one of its main streets because that  
banner was in Spanish. Although funds for the banner were supplied by  
the U.S. Census Bureau as part of its campaign to count everyone in  
the country, documented or illegal, Prescott officials pulled down the  
sign because Arizona's official English law bans state and local  
governments from doing business in any language other than English,  
plus they didn't want illegals counted among the town's residents,  
even though Prescott receives $12,000 from the federal government for  
everyone counted by the Census. . . .

find out more about English in Arizona by reading the rest of this  
post on the Web of Language: http://bit.ly/webllan

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


read the Web of Language:

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

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