TechWhirl (TECHWR-L) is a resource for technical writing and technical communications professionals of all experience levels and in all industries to share their experiences and acquire information.
For two decades, technical communicators have turned to TechWhirl to ask and answer questions about the always-changing world of technical communications, such as tools, skills, career paths, methodologies, and emerging industries. The TechWhirl Archives and magazine, created for, by and about technical writers, offer a wealth of knowledge to everyone with an interest in any aspect of technical communications.
Subject:English only - My $.02 From:Gregory=Kushmerek%AcctgMed%FIN -at- HUMRES-SERVER -dot- NET -dot- TUFTS -dot- EDU Date:Fri, 21 Jan 1994 09:13:00 EST
I don't support English-only laws. I see it more as a subtle form
of racism for some people and a poorly thought-out solution from
For example: the law gets passed tomorrow. What happens now? Can
you go into Taco Bell and order an enchilada? Can you have a store
named "Taco Bell?" And what do you do to the hard-working cleaning
staff that have some 1st generation Latin immigrants? Kick them
out for speaking Spanish on the job?
Moreover, the feds would have to go out to Madison Avenue and
lock up half of the "creative artists" in advertising agencies!
Canada came up once - and so did Switzerland. Switzerland doesn't
get the immigration we do in the US. This changing populace separates the US
from the Swiss. Canada is in a royal mess. Yes, the history is
different, going back to the French-Indian war during the Napoleonic
era; however, this legislated division about language is fairly recent
and it has only made things worse. The Quebec government now must
go around and remove signs in English in the province. There are
"grass-roots" organizations making the govt. go into communities
where people coexist peacefully and force them to change the
signs around, stirring up debate.
If anything, "English-only" is a state of denial. Latin language has
made many inroads into America. Some people don't like change and they
don't want to acknowledge that America is becoming less and less a
pasty-white country. I see a similarity between language and money
in America. Some people don't want to change the way the language
works and others don't want to change the artistry on US money. Language
is not static, however, and won't respond to the kind of control the
legislature has over the way money looks.
<Inhale-Exhale> OK, I'm getting off my soapbox now.