Army Discharges Arabic-Speaking Soldier

Harold Schiffman haroldfs at
Wed Aug 9 13:04:21 UTC 2006

All:  I have begun to post messages with a disclaimer attached.  But I would
reiterate what others have said, namely, that issue of the dismissal of the
gay Arabic linguist is a language policy issue because gender (and sexual
preference) are, like many other issues, often intertwined with language
policy issues.  It's hard to find a language policy issue anywhere that
doesn't have a covert issue of some other kind attached; some social
scientists use this as an excuse to ignore the *language* issue in
language policy disputes, because there's always something else to focus on:
ethnicity, identity, social class, racism, whatever...



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On 8/8/06, Wayne Wright <wayneewright at> wrote:
>  Hal,
> Thanks for your comment. The posting of news items representing a variety
> of opinions is one of the most valuable services you provide on this list. I
> am confident that the majority of list members are capable of understanding
> what is a newspaper article, be able to make their own critical judgement
> about the content, and not interpret the posting of the items as somehow
> reflective of the views of the poster.
> The article on the discharged Arabic-speaking soldier is most definately a
> language policy issue, particularly given the major shortage the government
> has of Arabic speakers.
> Keep the articles coming!
> -Wayne
> Wayne E. Wright, PhD
> Bicultural-Bilingual Studies
> University of Texas, San Antonio
> *Harold Schiffman <haroldfs at>* wrote:
> As "moderator" of this listserv, I should say that the articles I forward
> are those that I find mentioning language and/or policy, and that some of
> them are in fact objectionable to me.  (These are mostly in the area of the
> attacks on illegal immigrants, the "need" for officialization of English,
> the "refusal" of immigrants to learn English, etc. etc.)
> I send some of these along because it seems to me that people on this list
> need to know what's being said in sources they might not usually read.  Part
> of the point of sending any or all is to stimulate discussion; so if people
> would like to discuss what's wrong with the reportage, this is what is
> supposed to happen.
> So I welcome contrary opinions, and/or more accurate information.
> H. Schiffman
> List Owner
> On 07 Aug 2006 20:41:36 -0700, Michael Erard <erard at> wrote:
> >
> >  I will second Bill Beeman's note and add that this is a listserve, not
> > a peer-reviewed journal, a fact-checked publication, or an outlet for
> > government opinion.
> >
> > Michael Erard
> >
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