posted on Nov, 21 2006 @ 10:35 PM
I think making English our official language would be a waste of time. We'd just have to go through the whole shibang all over again in 20 or 30
years when it came time to make Spanish the official language of the United States.
I think things are pretty fair as they stand. English is infact a social necessity in America and most people who take the time to master it see
rewards. When I was 18 I landed a job with a guy who was NOTORIOUS for sending away anyone the main office sent him that was under 21. He took one
look at my application and said, "My God, you can spell!" I was as good as hired just for that alone.
I don't feel like people should have to speak english or lose their livelihoods. There's ample pressure on them, and that's good enough.
Now, my bank has insulted me by several times sending me literature only in Spanish. I happen to be functional enough in Spanish that I could read the
letter and I know that it was an offer that was open to and appealing to english speakers. Not a big deal but not something I'd want to live with.
To that end, I believe that local goverrnments should require public institutions and businesses under their jurisdiction to provide vital information
and preferential offers in any language spoken by a designated percentage of the local population, so that various localities can ensure that
minorities are not socially disenfranchised. Afterall, it doesn't take a "whites only" sign to discriminate. If a bank only provides literature in
English or only in Spanish, and only hires employees fluent in one language, any portion of the local population that doesn't speak that language is
effectively banned. If that were allowed, it would be a small matter for a couple of rednecks in some boondocks town to get together, make up a series
of code phrases for common transactions, and use that as an exclusive language to bar minorities. That would suck, wouldn't it?
Imagine being a Mexican immigrant who has worked hard and learned to speak DEAD-ON PERFECT English.
You drive up to the only gas station in town: Circle KKK. You pull up to the pump, you go inside, and you ask for 20 bucks on pump three. The gas
station attendant says, "I'm sorry, I'm not familiar with your dialect. Are you on pump Bleh, Blah, Bluh, or Burp? So you pick the third one, pump
Bluh, and they ask how much, and since you don't know the word for 20 in their little pig latin you just explain how many multiples of blurp you want
and hand them your card. At this point you're feeling pretty dang smart because you beat that redneck at his own game.
Except he's changed the rules on you, Bluh means 2, and so he just gave 14 bucks on your card to the customer on pump 2, and when you dispute the
charges he's legally in the clear.
So the way I see it, there has to be provision for a multilingual society to avoid both incidental and intentional discrimination. Not only do we not
need a single official language, but we need a mandate of reasonable mutual accomodation. Afterall, it only sounds unncessary to native English
speakers while the majority speaks English. Wait a few decades and see what happens.