19 September, 2006

Tip #1: Try To Sell Them On A Happy Ending

I had the pleasure of meeting Kay Brooks at the last WKRN Blogger Meet-up. I enjoyed her company, so I'm loathe to point something out that may appear critical of her position. But I have to, because it makes me laugh.

She is a proponant of the English-Official proposals in front of Metro.

And she has this to say about it:

One of the very foundational things that unites any country is language. The ability of language to unify a people goes all the way back to the Tower of Babel.


I would just like to point out that if you are trying to convince someone that your idea is a good one, it's probably not a good idea to highlight something that ended in cataclysmic destruction as your key example.

4 Comments:

At 6:03 PM, September 19, 2006, Blogger Kay Brooks said...

Well, my point was that language is unifying not the the Tower project was a success.

My understanding of the Tower of Babel debacle was that it was an issue of pride not one language that brought it down.

"We will make a name for ourselves..."
Gen 11:4

And it was nice to meet you too. Even if we don't agree--at least you got a laugh. We don't do that often enough, imo.

 
At 9:16 AM, September 20, 2006, Blogger dolphin said...

I shudder at "official language" legislation. It's true that it's easier to demand others change to meet your needs, but I've always found it more rewarding to meet half-way. My partner's brother and his wife are deaf. Both read lips fairly well, but instead of demanding that they read lips to accomadate me, I try my best to use the sign language that I know while continually building my sign vocabulary. I do alright with it now, but I have a long way to go. I think learning sign has enriched my life to a degree that I wouldnt' have experienced if I'd just demanded they change to meet my needs.

While it might be easier for one culture to attempt to wipe out another, I think everyone benifits the most when cultures try to work together instead.

 
At 9:57 AM, September 20, 2006, Anonymous sista smiff said...

Shouldn't we at least encourage people to at least TRY to learn the language? Life would be easier here for them if they did. I don't get why everybody's all up in the air about that.

 
At 12:32 PM, September 20, 2006, Blogger dolphin said...

English is not "the language" though. That's what the debate is about. ou can't really argue that English should be "the language" because English is "the language." That's circular reasoning.

Also, I don't buy the "it's better for them if they learn it" argument. Life is easier for me if I speak English because most of the people I come in contact with on a daily basis speak English. On the otherhand, I can go to any number of places in this country where life would be easier for me if I spoke Spanish, because almost certainly, the people I came in contact with would speak Spanish. It's not just regional divides either. Life might be easier for a Mandarin-speaking housewife to simply speak Mandarin, even if she lives in the middle of a bunch of English speakers.

The "life will be easier" argument is also self-defeating. If speaking English inherently made life so much easier, then non-English speakers would go out of their way to learn it. If they don't, I don't think government intervention is going to do the trick either. Ultimately, it will just lead to MORE confusion.

A major part of American culture is our diversity. If we make people abandon their own culture to adopt ours, we might well lose the very culture we're pushing in the first place.

 

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