Date: Tue, 12 Sep 1995 20:45:18 -0400
From: TERRY IRONS t.irons[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]MOREHEAD-ST.EDU
Subject: Re: FOR English Only
On Tue, 12 Sep 1995, Tom Uharriet wrote:
This discussion has really gotten out of control. Where before we
were all seeing evidence of valid thought on both sides, it has
degenerated to sensationalism and abuse. I had hoped that in spite
of it all, we were at least all seeking to understand both sides of
the issue. However, statements such as
I will admit that I do not seek to understand the other side at all. I
intend to do what I can to frustrate its efforts at every turn.
Sensationalism was employed in suggesting that the EOL will open a
way for the government to control what we say. Also, if the EOL
In telling us what language we have to use to be heard in our
communities, government is de facto controlling what we say.
I suggest that a national language has the potential of preserving
our national unity. In light of the growing rate of immigration of
non-English speakers, we need to use language to hold us together.
WHY? This is not a thoughtful argument. It is an unsupported assumption.
Canada is getting close to a breaking point--divided by language. We
too are building non-English communities which we are subsidising--to
keep them non-English speaking. By subsidising, I mean our taxes are
being spent to keep them comfortable in their non-English American
lives. EOL does not give anyone the right to complain about their
Again, who is this "we"? Each of my posts has asked this question and
yet you do not respond. Your use of "we" is a rhetorical manipulation
that implies exclusion of the non-we, who are, of course, in your world,
non-English speaking. As someone pointed out, "they" pay taxes too.
When reason does not suffice, let's open our minds to see the other
side. When our views are not shaken by that broader understanding,
let's try better reasoning. But even then, we won't convince anyone
who isn't willing to be convinced--insults or no insults.
Yes, I have used non-logical rhetoric in my posts. But I have also
stated two very important facts about EOL that you have not responded to
in the least. (1) EOL violates equal protection under the law. Did you
even see my next to last paragraph about the situaiton in education?
Your response does not address it. (2) EOL amounts to
exclusion/economic domination based on language cultural heritage.
These last two points are facts that suggest EOL is therefore wrong.
You have presented no argument in favor of EOL based on facts. You
make some vague assertions (which are not facts) about national unity
crap, some american identity crap, and some confused comments about
communication and taxpayer expense. The cost of multiple language
publications, for all of its benefits, is nothing near what we spend
perhaps weekly developing things to kill people.
I have considered your position and I find it to lack support.
I would expect you to consider the two powerful reasons against EOL that
I have presented in my posts. I do not, however, seek to convince you. I
only hope that others see through the deception going on here, that EOL
is somehow good for AMerica. It is not, and this conclusion is not
really open to debate. SOme people know what is right and others don't.
I would prefer to ignore all of this and get on with studying language
variation in AMerica, the purpose of the AMerican Dialect Society. But I
can't stick my head in the sand and ignore the politics going on. ANd
the mood in AMerika seems to be growing nasty again. Especially when
those on one side tell us we are being sensational and ignoring their
position, when the truth is exactly the opposite.
Tom, I am not part of your "we."
Terry Lynn Irons t.irons[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]msuacad.morehead-st.edu
Voice Mail: (606) 783-5164
Snail Mail: UPO 604 Morehead, KY 40351