Monday, May 21, 2007

English only: The simple truth

Last week's Onion has this News in Brief item:
Idaho Legislature Declares English Only Language They Know
May 18, 2007 | Issue 43•2

BOISE, ID—The Idaho Legislature passed a unanimous resolution Monday declaring English the only language the elected assembly knows how to speak, write, or understand.

"We're putting into law a general feeling that everyone here has had for years: English is the only language we know, and English is the only language we want to know," Lt. Gov. James E. Risch said during a press conference outside the State Capitol building. "It's a good language, serves us well in matters of communication, and we can't think of any good reason to go around knowing some other language that we have no use for."

The legislature is expected to pass a separate resolution later this week officially declaring out-of-towners "suspicious."
Has any academic treatise gotten to the roots of the "English Only" movement so cleanly and directly?

Of course, the same section includes a brilliant piece called "Professor Sees Parallels Between Things, Other Things", ending with the note that the professor was granted tenure 15 years earlier for doing this.


Wolfy said...

Is that for real? I really feel bad for americans when I hear stuff like this, it's like evolution in reverse.

Mr. Verb said...

Oh, the Onion is a humor magazine, and this is a joke, but they live by making their jokes so close to reality that it can be hard to tell at times. So, this story isn't LITERALLY true, but it is FIGURATIVELY true.

Wolfy said...

The rub is that'd I'd be cynical enough ta believe that it was possible. :(

Mr. Verb said...

Yes, and a lot of us are frightened enough to believe it's possible!