Date: Wed, 13 Sep 1995 16:22:27 MST


Subject: Re: FOR English Only

Thanks Salikoko,

The need for having a common

language for communication at the level of a few individuals does not

translate empirically into the need for one single nationwide language for


True. The nation could go on for quite awhile without non-English

speakers comfortably communicating with the government. We are

nowhere near such a breaking point. On the other hand, there is a

point at which that can become a serious problem. It seems that we

may be headed in that direction--though a long way from getting

there. More significant in my mind is the isolation that these

people are living in by not speaking the language of the nation. As

much as I favor EOL, I favor teaching ESL far more. I would like to

see these issues combined in any EOL legislation. Too many people

living in a country that they do not feel fully a part of is, in my

mind, dangerous for the health of that country.

Besides, there are problems of communication (mutual

intelligibility) in monolingual countries. Even here in the United States, I

have witnessed native speakers of English failing to communicate successful

in their own native English!

Absolutely! I think I made that point in an earlier message. It is

tough enough to communicate within our own language. It is even

tougher to communicate across languages. Thus, I wish everyone knew

more than one language. In the United States, I would like one of

everyone's languages to be English. To borrow some lines from a

great, musically gifted, philosopher, "You may say I'm a dreamer. But

I'm not the only one. I hope someday you'll join us [via language]

and the world will live as one [or, at least a step closer to it]."

Thanks again for your message,

Tom Uharriet