English As A Second-hand Language
Published: July 11th, 2006
By: Jim Mullen

English as a second-hand language

By Jim Mullen

The pundits that say emigrants to this country should have carte blanche to speak whatever language they choose don’t realize we may end up speaking an awkward patois of many languages. How would we ever get anything done?

If not for a small cadre of broadcasters who made a big brouhaha of the issue, we might lose the cachet of our mother tongue. These language vigilantes should receive kudos. Does anyone really have the chutzpah to think there is a better language in the entire world than English? People who don’t want to learn English when they come to this country should be personae non-gratis.

Why stop there? Should Americans have to live in states with Spanish or Indian names like Montana, Florida, California, Texas, Delaware, Nebraska, Nevada and Colorado? Practically the only state in the country with an English name is New Mexico. It makes you wonder if the people who named our states were linguistic dilettantes guilty of misfeasance.

There are foreign words all over this country. Why are we leaving our hearts in San Francisco and not St. Francis? Why are we riding the Atkinson, Topeka and Santa Fe instead of the Atkinson, Topeka and the Holy Faith? Why did they call it “Planes, Trains and Automobiles” instead of “Planes, Trains and Cars?” I guess they were hoping bilingual intellectuals would mistake it for a French art film.


The Evening Sun

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