Watering Hole – Monday, May 16, 2011 – Let Them Speak English

Making English the official language and banning the use of other languages in school is nothing new to this nation.  Pennsylvania Dutch was spoken freely in the schools in southeastern Pennsylvania until the early 1900’s when the Pennsylvania legislators decided that children should not be speaking both English and German.  They wanted to kill the use of languages other than English and by doing so, they hoped to suppress the Swiss/German culture in the state.  Despite their efforts, Pennsylvania Dutch can still be heard, spoken by many of the farmers living in southeastern PA.  A similar thing happened in Louisiana where the use of French was prohibited.  Banning French failed as the language lives on in music.

In the early 1900s, Louisiana authorities tried to suppress Cajun culture, banning the use of French in schools. But in recent decades, the Cajuns have repossessed their heritage and display an obvious pride. One major unifying force is Cajun music and dance, which is something of a family affair.

From one of the best… The Balfa Brothers

Today, it’s about banning Spanish and the Hispanic culture.  Si?  You can only speak English at Gino’s Steaks in Philadelphia.

Kill a language and kill a culture.

The English only crowd… en dummkopp iss and they deserve a swift kick in the dupa.

This is our Open Thread.  Feel free to Speak Up in any language.

96 thoughts on “Watering Hole – Monday, May 16, 2011 – Let Them Speak English

  1. I might be persuaded to go along with English only — IF the demand includes banning Texas, Okie, and Southern accents and linguistic patterns! Also, IF the demand includes a proviso that written English must embrace proper spelling and grammar. Might not hurt, too, if the linguistic roots of English words be included as part of basic English instruction, also that the Bible was NOT originally written in English!

    Alternatively, maybe the law should be written to demand that ALL Americans are to become fluent in at least two languages, English being one of them?

    Oh, and all who get caught mispronouncing ‘nuclear’ receive an automatic life sentence at Guantanamo with no possibility of parole. Former presidents especially included.

  2. Cats!! Wie bis du? Esse die Oley Legion da morgen? How do you say “freaking awesome food” in PA Dutch anyway? Oh, the limits of language!!!

    I do appreciate your post very much … and know what you are getting at. My hope is that the young people will have the stamina to persevere through these obstacles and preserve their heritage in anyway they can, before it all becomes just an historical reference … and We have to help them, encourage and educate them so that sustainable cultures can continue live on and exist, without having to completely assimilate to another dominant one.

    Hope you are well this day … time to walk the dog ~

  3. One of the shining stars of the USA IS the multiple cultures. We gain so much by sharing these different cultures. There is awesome food and great music and some things are better said in a language other than English.

  4. And Good Morning, Frugal! I appreciate your sentiments … especially about fluency, and including presidents 😉

    I think that space aliens have invaded my electronic communication devices … your post didnt show up on either of my gizmos until about 20 mins ago … 8)

    All a conspiracy, I tells ya’!

  5. I think we should establish Latin as the standard language for North and South America.

    Then my three years of high school language won’t be a total waste.

  6. I took two years of Latin in high school RUC and I’d have to take it all over again. Of course I had 5 years of French in grade school and that will take me nowhere too.

  7. Nihil illegiimi non carborundum – RUC

    The plains tribes were also forced to speak English, so were the Australian aboriginis etc etc.

    Here’s a small success story: Cornish seems to have survived http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-cornwall-11935464

    Meanwhile while we are the subject of language/culture and independence….

    Scotland: voted last week a majority of Scots Nationalists to the Scottish parliament – expect a referendum on Scottish independence as soon as they can find someone to write the bill. Inreasingly, the English are taking a “Go ahead make my day” attitude. The Independent editorial takes a look.

    Meanwhile the Queen makes a historic visit to the Republic of Ireland and the IRA threatens to bomb someone, anyone, in an attempt to get back into the ‘league table’ dominated by OBL for the last 10 years. Not that there are that many English people actually in London anymore…. I think by population its either the 4th or 5th largest *French* city….? Need to fact-check myself there – but Sarkozy campaigned in London. No word either from Rep Peter King (R-IRA) as to whether he is against the terrorists after being for the terrorists – maybe I should send him a flip-flop in the post so he feels what its like to get a suspicious package in the mail ‘/please don’t come after me NSA, its just a blog, OK?>’

  8. I don’t know if anyone has been following, but in the wake of CNNs excellent look at the Bush etc education legacy last night, Rudepundit has been serialising an opinion. Worth a read.

    Oh and Zooey, don’t worry about those student loans – the world ends on Saturday night
    I expect God will be ‘moving in mysterious ways’ again this Sunday morning and this lot will be in the local police blotter the following week – ‘drunken drug-fuelled orgy turned into a riot at campground, broken up by SWAT team with dogs’…

  9. Not surprised Zoo, it was foul here at the weekend – all that cold rainy shit went east and up and is now falling on you. Two years ago, SammytheTurtle’s softball tournament was in 100F heat at the North Creek fields!

  10. I believe that Dutch kids study English, German and French. As one guy explained to me (this was many years ago), this was in large part because no one else can speak Dutch. I envy kids in my community who are in language immersion courses that start in Kindergarten (ooh, foreign word!). If I was raising a tot, I’d move heaven and earth to get the kid into the Mandarin program.

  11. Apparently its 6pm on Saturday…. no word yet as to whether that is EDT, Mountain, PDT, Greenich or…. you may as well get up early and just hit the bottle this Saturday to be sure.

  12. Morganza Spillway Opens, Residents Evacuate

    Floodwaters were expected to cut a path about 20 miles wide that will flow down the Atchafalaya Basin in the coming days, from Morganza, La., to the Gulf of Mexico, Gannett News Service said. Since the weekend, the National Weather Service dropped Baton Rouge’s crest projection from 47.5 feet to 45 feet, GNS reported. New Orleans’ forecast was lowered from 19.5 feet — 6 inches below the levees protecting the city — to 17 feet. The Corps of Engineers plans to open gates on the Morganza spillway until the water-flow rate reaches 125,000 cubic feet per second, The (New Orleans) Times-Picayune reported. Corps officials have said the “slow opening” was meant to provide the 25,000 residents in the Atchafalaya River basin time to prepare for up to 25 feet of floodwaters

    MSNBC is reporting that this action will flood 3 million acres, affecting 13,000 buildings and 25,000 people. I’ve been seeing this all weekend, and became interested because of how many people are being affected in order to drop the water 2.5 feet elsewhere. This seems like the government gets to decide who wins and who loses, based on who has more clout. Now I understand the people in the Atchafalaya basin may lose less than what 2.5 feet more water may do to New Orleans and Baton Rouge, but the reporting isn’t making that clear enough.

  13. Cats,
    I am happy that you enjoyed the CF item. I had the Jenner item set up on my C drive but decided that the CF news was more pertinent.

  14. If the world is going to end at 6PM Saturday, I’m opening the Saturday evening bottle of wine early.
    Now I’m off to wallow in the mud.

  15. Thom Hartmann interviews economist/author Richard Wolff, about his book, Capitalism Hits the Fan: The Global Economic Meltdown and What to Do About It. I found Dr. Wolff easy to understand and quite plain spoken about the topic. Part two in the next comment.

  16. A Great Launch, A Challenging Mission Ahead
    Mon, 16 May 2011 08:35:13 AM PDT

    Space shuttle Endeavour is officially on its way to the International Space Station on its STS-134 mission and final flight. Endeavour lifted off from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center on time at 8:56 a.m. EDT, soaring through a few clouds, after a relatively smooth countdown.

  17. The obvious chaff is blowing away. No Trump, no Hucklebumpkin. Bachmann is dithering and asking her supporters to send $100 to encourage her to run for the White House.

  18. Our tax dollars at work. (we must stop sanctioning the murders. Why do the oppressed become the oppressor?)

    Israeli border clashes kill 15 on Palestinian protest day

    Israeli soldiers open fire on throngs of Palestinian refugees and protesters as they attempt to cross Israel’s borders with Syria, Lebanon and the Gaza Strip in bitter remembrance of the Palestinians’ displacement with the founding of Israel.

  19. Yesterday on Meet the Press, Mark Halperin gave 3-1 odds on Romney, 9-1 on Huckabee, 10-1 on Mitch Daniels, 18-1 on T-Paw and 40-1 on Newt. Then 60-1 on Palin and 1000-1 on Bachmann. That was from an article he did in Time before Huck dropped out Sat. nite. Daniels hasn’t committed yet, but the field is getting narrower already.

  20. Ebb,
    I read about the Israeli border issue earlier today and the first thing that came to mind is ‘Why did they actually use live ammunition?’. I think that the demonstrators expected rubber bullets.

    It’s a case of die and learn.

  21. I still say it’ll be Huntsman if he decides to enter the race, unless he waits for the GOP crazy to subside (heh) and runs in 2016. He may have worked close enough to Obama to realize that running against him in 2012 is a fool’s errand.

    Otherwise, It’ll be between T-Paw, Romney and Daniels — if he jumps in.

  22. “This decision does not come easily or without regret; especially when my potential candidacy continues to be validated by ranking at the top of the Republican contenders in polls across the country. … “

    The Donald’s bullshit, to the last.

  23. Bachmann is dithering and asking her supporters to send $100 to encourage her to run for the White House.

    I may have missed it, but has Bachmann formed an exploratory committee yet? Because I thought you had to form an exploratory committee in order to raise funds to run for president. If she hasn’t done that yet, then I’m not sure if she can legally accept money for a run for the presidency. (And I have to add my usual disclaimer that my understanding of the facts may not match reality.)

  24. I wish I knew for certain what these people who want ours to be an English-only nation fear. Maybe they’re afraid that people will talk about them in another language. I don’t know, but I do know that virtually everyone I’ve heard espouse the idea that we should speak only English in this country were people who didn’t like foreigners and minorities to begin with – yes, the racists and bigots were the ones high on English-Only laws. They were also the type who would never learn another language even if their lives depended on it.

  25. michele-bachmann-to-form-exploratory-committee-in-june-possibly-earlier

    Imagine sitting down at a job interview, greeting the HR person, and explaining that you may be ready, at some future point, to form an “exploratory committee” to discuss if you might like to apply for a job at their company.

    The next sound you would hear is, “NEXT”.

  26. Hi All … Thank you for keeping me current with the happenings of the day 🙂

    Shayne, you’re probably right about the gremlins … Guess I’ll just learn to love them 😉

  27. Saturday is:

    Judgment Day!
    May 21, 2011

    And to them it was given that they should not kill them, but that they should be tormented five months: and their torment was as the torment of a scorpion, when he striketh a man. Revelation 9:5

    The End of the World
    October 21, 2011

  28. In re language, I grew up in a multicultural ‘era’ of sorts. My parents, both born before 1910, were children of immigrants, and while my dad could speak and understand Swedish, my mother was fluent in German. They kept it mostly to themselves, however; overt multilingualism just wasn’t fashionable in the thirties and forties, I suspect mainly because almost ever adult WAS multilingual.

    I took two years of Latin in HS, and two of German in college (not fluent in either one, far from it, but at least I can still pronounce words in both when I see them written. Valuable when ordering Gewurztraminer whilst dining out, e.g.). Lived in the Southwest for forty years and while there learned to at least communicate in Spanish — esp. during the years my partners and I grew seedless watermelons and most of our harvesting crew were illegal immigrants (great people, all of them — can’t understand the fear and loathing so common today).

    The bottom line, to me, is that multilingualism is as delightful as it is gracious and should be an encouraged and mandatory segment of the educational process — and NEVER be frowned upon!

    This Republican “American exceptionalism” crap that’s been emerging across mainly the last 30 years needs to be ignored, the sooner the better. I’ve never been one to take instruction from white bigots whose only forte is their hatred for others who are not like them, and the fear that motivates them. They have no idea of the benefits (and gifts) of multiculturalism, of multilingualism. And I have a hunch that none of them recall the ‘gift’ bestowed on all of us by the Navajo Code Talkers in the Second World War — those oft-hated and spat upon “Injuns” who, because they could and because they were willing, came up with a spoken ‘code’ that proved to be unbreakable by the Japanese: they simply spoke messages in their own native tongue. And they served the country’s needs in spite of the fact that their skin was brown. Imagine it.

    I’ve watched this country make slow progress in eye-opening over the course of my life, and for a time I was optimistic that Hatriotism was behind us. Then came the ‘conservative’ revolution, now apparently picking up speed and intensity. I’m sick of it. Sick of ignorance, sick of unwarranted hatred, of greed, racism, of anti-culturalism, of English-only, of non-existent “exceptionalism” and its consequences.

    There. That said, I feel a wee bit better. Maybe a chile relleno for lunch will ‘ice’ the cake. Sotospeak.

  29. We’ll be tormented for five months –
    the world doesn’t end until my sisters birthday and the day before Frugal’s b-day.
    21 October.

  30. If Judgement Day is Saturday: I wonder if the networks will put Terminator 3 up for us all to watch – Arnold’s back ya-know.

    Don’t tailgate on the freeways, especially the ones with the fishes on the back – no idea what those Lexus SUVs will do when their drivers are Raptured – it could be Hell getting anywhere on Saturday night (scuse the pun).

  31. Ya know – I don’t think Dante had my idea of the Tribulation in mind – trying to get across town on a Saturday evening for a burger and a movie while the roads are clogged with post-Rapture cross-over SUVs…..

  32. The former president says he was at a restaurant when he got Obama’s call. Bush says Obama described the secret mission in detail.

    Bush says he told Obama, “Good call,” and noted “the intelligence services deserve a lot of credit.”

    Are these the same intelligence services Bush blamed for his bad decision to invade Iraq?

  33. The Rapture should be interesting. I figure if Jesus is good at sifting liars from the pile of applicants for heaven, the Republicans in the US will end up with an overwhelming electoral majority, and most if not all of us progressive liberal Democrats will end up in heaven, each and all wearing a big smile!

    TtT, ’twasn’t me that coined the word “Hatriotism” — I saw it written, somewhere, and borrowed it. But yep, it’s a good word. One of the virtues of English is, btw and imo, that word-coining is widespread and useful. Seems to me the French, for example, don’t appreciate new words all that much. But one might say, I suppose, that Americans are ‘misunderestimated’ in their ability to coin words!

  34. Another of those weird coincidences that happen to me all the time. A few moments ago, I walked thorugh another part of our office and they were playing “It’s the End of the World As We Know It” on the radio. Then I pull this up and what do I see? The video for it. Those kinds of weird things happen to me all the time.

  35. Okay, someone please explain to me how God kept the date of the end of the world “hidden” until now? Did someone start publishing revised versions of the Bible recently? That makes zero sense to me.

  36. Wayne:

    The purpose of this tract is to inform you of the great urgency there now is in the world for each and every person to be reconciled to God. The Bible is the Word of God! Everything the Bible declares has the full authority of God Himself. Now, at this time, information is coming forth from the Bible which clearly reveals God’s plan for Judgment Day and the end of the world itself. The Bible has opened up its secrets concerning the timeline of history. This information was never previously known because God had closed up His Word blocking any attempt to gain knowledge of the end of the world.

  37. Wayne, remember that the world was most likely created on October 23rd. Bertrand Russell explains:

    “The date of the creation of the world (according to the orthodox view) can be inferred from the genealogies in Genesis, which tell how old each patriarch was when his oldest son was born. Some margin of controversy was permissible, owing to certain ambiguities and to differences between the Septuagint and the Hebrew text; but in the end Protestant Christendom generally accepted the date 4004 B.C., fixed by Archbishop Usher. Dr. Lightfoot, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Cambridge, who accepted this date for the Creation, thought that a careful study of Genesis made even greater precision possible; the creation of man, according to him, took place at 9.00 A.M. on October 23rd. This, however, has never been an article of faith; you might believe, without risk of heresy, that Adam and Eve came into existence on October 16th or October 30th, provided your reasons were derived from Genesis. The day of the week was, of course, known to have been Friday, since God rested on the Saturday.” (R.S.p51/2) ~Bertrand Russell

    Note that my birthday is the day between the creation and the end, on October 22nd. If I may borrow a phrase from John Keats: “That is all ye know on earth, and all ye need to know.” :strong:

    Or something like that. 😉

  38. English only? Say good bye to sweaters and frankfurters, chicken cordon bleu, and most of the contents in medical textbooks.

    When Christ returns, he won’t be allowed to speak in his native tongue. That oughtta go over real big on Judgment Day.

  39. The Bible is the Word of God!

    Which version? I wonder if the supposed ‘hidden messages’ in the Bible are only in the King James’ version, or maybe the New English as well. What about the Catholic Bible? And then they would have to have been in the earlier Greek versions and supposedly in the original Hebrew and Aramaic too?

    And what about the Apocrypha? Is there a piece of God’s secret message missing? Calling Dan Brown…..

  40. As usual, I agree with Hawking. As far as an afterlife is concerned, after dismissing the issue as being scientifically impossible, the leading question has to be, who would want it anyway, and why?

    Meanwhile, back on the farm, the whole concept of the biblical ‘creator’ is so obviously devised by humans that it’s almost instantly dismissible. It makes far more sense to assign it all to the human penchant to control others, and the human knowledge that induced fear is the most effectual means to get (and hold) the attention of the masses.

    I much prefer the human imagination be put to better use than in attempt to rationalize god’s existence and the consequences thereof. The poet William Blake first explained it to me when he wrote, as the first stanza of his Auguries of Innocence:

    To see a world in a grain of sand,
    And a Heaven in a wild flower;
    Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand,
    And Eternity in an hour.

    Works for me. No fear, no baloney, no ugliness — only grand beauty and immutable truth, concepts which are in themselves the perfect descriptors of the universe.

  41. Heaven and Hell were a concept introduced to both control the population and inspire them – the original metaphysical carrott-and-stick. back in the day when life was ‘nasty, brutish and short’, the only to get people not to go all Che Guevara on the aristos was to say ‘Yeah, life sucks, but the more it sucks the better it will be afterwards’. Christians were smart, the Muslims set themselves up for failure by being too specific with the 72-virgins thing. Mind you, dudes are dead so that false advertizing ain’t coming back to haunt them.

    I prefer the Heaven and Hell concept from Tony and Ronnie myself…..

  42. In the “English Only” does that cross over to written as well?
    The back of our one dollar bill is so loaded with Latin – we’d have to spend a damn fortune converting to ‘English’ which of course is a mixture on several languages.


    Where I live – we go to the Lavenderia (laundromat); the Farmacia Remedios – the local drug store.
    You get the picture. English is definitely a second or third language for my neighborhood.
    Approximately five miles away is Japan town –
    There’s even a small enclave of Ethiopians –

    Large South East Asian population in the Bay Area.

    The diversity of cultures is truly enriching – arts, language, etc.
    I could never live in a narrow minded area – where exclusion and not inclusion were the norm. I would not enter an establishment that said ‘English Speaking’ only.

  43. Yes badmoodman, Latin was taught by Ms. French at Niles East. Seriously. Now all I have to do is remember the name of the boy I copied homework from for two years. I believe he was in your class.

  44. A classic sendup of Newt by Jake Weisberg from 1997:

    “As he flies around like George Jetson in his upside-down module, Gingrich is ever counting. He offers two reasons why we must replace the welfare state, three steps toward success, Four Great Truths of our Generation, five Pillars of Freedom and Progress, seven aspects of committing ourselves to real change, nine zones of invention and creativity, 10 steps toward Renewing American Civilization, 13 Renewing America Strategies, 14 steps to replacing the welfare state with an opportunity society, and 17 key factors in a House victory. These are easier to remember if you sing them…

    On the fifth day of Gingrich, my true love gave to me: five pillars of freedom and progress, four great truths of our generation, three steps toward success, two reasons we must replace the welfare state, and a 501(c)(3).”


  45. Chutzpah of the Day:

    “Benjamin Brafman, one of Mr. Strauss-Kahn’s lawyers, argued that “there is a very, very defensible case and he should be entitled to bail,” asking that his client be allowed to post $1 million bail….He added that his client was not trying to flee when he was arrested on an Air France plane that was about to take off from Kennedy International Airport on Saturday.”

    Nope, no thought of escape there. Just an advance in another direction.

  46. BnF, you said “kissing” … whatever the language, it makes me smile (unless it involves copious amounts of fermented food prior to, certain inanimate objects, or in English people terms, a “creeper”!)

  47. I arrive Murphysboro — 6 miles West of Carbondale — tomorrow evening. My friend and colleague from SIU lives there, and I’ll be house-sitting his place while he and his wife are out travelling most of the summer. By mid-August, when that is done, the place I’m setting up in Johnston City (with other friends) should be done.

    There is some chance of a couple of adjunct classes at SIU, and there are also the Logan and Rend Lake community colleges in the area.

  48. lass,

    The Catholic Church has performed the following calendar adjustments:
    The Sabbath was moved from Saturday to Sunday.
    Christmas was designated as December 25th to offset the pagan celebration of the Winter Solstice.
    Ash Wednesday was set for the 40th day before Easter in order to offset the pagan celebration of the end of winter’s grip which was the 2th new moon after the Winter Solstice.
    Easter was set as the first full moon after the first Sunday after the first Pascal moon after the Spring Equinox which was set to offset the pagan celebration of the return of life which was observed as the second full moon after the break of Winter.

    The calendar of pagan celebrations restarted after the Summer Solstice marking the wind-down to Winter:
    Harvest start – 2nd new moon after the Summer Solstice.
    Day of the dead or harvest end – 4th full moon after the Summer Solstice.

    You have to recognize that the pagans had but two time pieces – the Sun and the Moon.

  49. Terry the Turtle, your Rude Pundit guy, Lee Papa, is on The Ed Show tonight. His take on Michelle Bachman: She’s like every guy’s first wife! You knew she was crazy, but you didn’t know she was that crazy!

  50. Solid Liberals

    What They Believe
    Strongly pro-government and very liberal on a broad range of issues
    Very supportive of regulation, environmental protection and government assistance to the poor
    One of the most secular groups; 59% say that religion is not that important to them
    Supportive of the country’s growing racial and ethnic diversity
    Two-thirds disagree with the Tea Party
    Who They Are
    Highly politically engaged
    75% are Democrats
    Concentrated in the Northeast and West
    57% are female
    Best educated of the groups: 49% hold at least a bachelor’s degree and 27% have post-graduate experience
    A third regularly listen to NPR, about two-in-ten regularly watch The Daily Show and read The New York Times
    59% have a passport
    42% regularly buy organic foods
    21% are first or second generation Americans

    I had a bowl of organic cereal as a snack tonight. Does that count? 😉

  51. Have expired passport, but would renew if offered an opportunity to move to a freer society, depending on 2012 election (Main Land China?).

  52. Hi Walt … Having been brainwashed through a few cults myself, I am sadly familiar organized religions role in “changing the dates” … I would therefore like to redact that previous post I made regarding Saturday …

    Well, not really 😉

  53. I just took the quiz. Solid Liberal. like I didn’t know – from the Northeast – now living in the West.
    *however* the town and county I have lived in for the last 18 yrs. is *solidly* “CONSERVATIVE” complete with cowboys, hate, fear and racism bumper stickers. And the UnionTrib also swings to the right. “fair & balanced” like Fox Noise

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s