Our language, our culture

More evidence of the fracturing of American culture: our foundational English language. Tim Henderson reporting at Stateline.org cites some census data and the American Community Survey analyzed by Stateline.

During the past 14 years the number of people living in the U. S. who speak other than English has grown from 18 percent to 21 percent. Sixty-two million people scattered in enclaves around the country is significant; it is not without economic and social costs.

Our government officials—pressured by factional groups—seem compelled to accommodate non-English speakers rather than expect them to learn our language. Government schools and agencies—even large businesses—impose additional costs on us because, “It can be difficult for native speakers (of other languages) to learn to speak and write in English,” writes Mr. Henderson.

So what? Speaking and writing our language was always required of those who chose to live here. Now the disrespect for our language threatens to further fracture our culture.

Connecticut tries to “adjust” to Arabic speakers. Miami-Dade County in Florida prints its transportation guide in Creole and Spanish. Texas mandates bilingual school programs. Hospitals in California provide translation services around the clock. Home supply stores in North Carolina label aisles in Spanish.

Aside from the additional cost of these accommodations and the feeling that many local communities throughout America seem to be alien places, technical difficulties with some foreign language create problems.

Arabic is written right to left and omits vowels in the written words. Creole (standardized only 34 years ago) is a mish-mash of French and various African languages. Chinese Mandarin and Cantonese speakers can’t understand each other—not to mention dozens of other dialects in Arabic.

Lane Green, the author of a book on the politics of language spoke about that problem. “Arabic speakers have so many dialects that I think this would be an obvious problem in accommodating them in schools.”

But our politicians and government bureaucrats—prodded by subversive groups— continue to assault our language and fracture our culture by diluting our language.

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About R. E. Smith Jr.

Mr. Smith writes essays and commentary on politics, American history, environment, higher education and culture. He's been published in print media and at blog sites for about 25 years. Smith's formal education includes B.S. and M.S. degrees from the State University of New York and Syracuse University. He has earned a 21-credit hour Certificate in Professional Writing from the University of North Carolina-Wilmington. Training/work experience: NYS Ranger School; U. S. Army, Corp of Engineers; soil scientist and forester with USDA; Assoc. Professor at SUNY; real estate agent; small business owner.
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