Language, Truth, and Logic: was Social Security, etc.

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Tim Daneliuk wrote:

Crimony, that doesn't seem to relate at all to what I wrote.
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FF


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snipped-for-privacy@spamcop.net wrote:

What I was trying say (apparently not well) is that "emergency situations" don't necessarily call for a change of language to be remedied. You can often fix such problems with a change of policy - say, restricting travel to places that pose a health threat to our country. There may well be cases where the government needs to operate in other languages - for example when collecting intelligence about Islamterrorism. But the day-to-day operation of government for the most part can (and should) be conducted in English.
Moreover, it is a perfectly reasonable expectation that, if you want to live here, you're going to have to deal with an English-speaking/writing government. I have lived in 3 countries and traveled to a dozen more on business and holidays. I never once found another non-English speaking country where their *government* went out of their way to accomodate my native tongue (though private businesses did so regularly in the interest of improving commerce). For instance, I have a friend here in the US who inherited property in Germany upon the death of a spouse. The German authorities mailed notification about the legal matters surrounding the transfer of title ... in *German* (as they properly should). My friend had to get it translated. This is the norm in the overwhelming majority of non-English speaking nations, but we somehow seem to think it's a Bad Thing.
The sole exception to this is that many street and highway signs around the world are signed in both the local language AND ... *English* in recognition of the fact that English has become the de fact standard for conducting international business. (Saints Be Praised for that. You oughtta try reading a blueprint written in German. It is a study in word concatentation that dazzles the mind. ;) If the whole rest of the developed (and some of the less developed) world has figured out that English is the way to do business, why should we - the English speaking nations of the world - do anything less?
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On 9/23/2005 5:19 AM Tim Daneliuk mumbled something about the following:

You still danced around what he wrote and didn't address it at all. Please go back and read his post and reply based on what you read, not what you THINK he wrote.
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Odinn
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Odinn wrote:

...
Well, I think it did address what was written--the point all along has <not> been to prohibit <any> use of any language other than English. Fred took the normal route of creating a false diversion to justify another reaction.
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Duane Bozarth wrote:

Replace 'justify' with 'provoke' and I think you have your answer.
Mr Daneliuk took that opportunity to make it clear that his preference was for English-only regardless of the cost.
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snipped-for-privacy@spamcop.net wrote:

Not my reading...
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snipped-for-privacy@spamcop.net wrote:

No - I took the opportunity to proclaim that "it will cost more if you don't embrace multilingualism" is false in its premises and thus false in conclusion.
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Don't worry, it won't.
If you look at the numbers, Mandarin will become the new English of the USA in the new "global village" second only to Hindi (which, due to the acceleration of growth, will be the only other contender)
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The choice of English over German in the US was apparently decided by a majority of one vote. Dominant? - barely. I believe that more americans have German ancestry than that from any other single language - that was the case a few decades ago.
Mike
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Michael Daly wrote:

Where and when was that vote taken?
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Duane Bozarth wrote:

I'd also be curious about a cite on the number of Americans with German ancestors being a majority, or at least more numerous than any other single cultural group. Hell, I used to think Italians dominated U.S. culture, but I lived a lot of my younger life in and around NYC, where Italians settled heavily 100 or so years ago. Right next to the Irish quite often.
The vote, or lack of a vote, and the ancestry of much of the U.S. is probably irrelevant now, as English is the dominant business language, and, regardless of Latinisms, legal language. Changing it is going to be a expensive chore, and an invitation to massive confusion. And what do we change it to? Spanish? Maybe, in 30 or 40 or 50 years. Or some dialect of Chinese in 60 years. At the moment, it seems to me to make sense to go with what we've got and make the best of it.
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Charlie Self wrote:

Of course that was roughly 100 years or so after the founding when both of those ethnic groups became large blocs...

Oh, certainly. I was just curious as to from whence the above claim arose--I'm totally unaware of when any such a concensus decision would have been made. Certainly by far the majority of the early colonists were English so I have some difficulty in thinking when there would even have been the discussion.
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On Thu, 22 Sep 2005 18:21:02 -0500, Duane Bozarth

many of them were dutch- my ancestors included- and while the dutch do disagree, often very strenuously- they really are part of that demographic that we here today call "german"
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snipped-for-privacy@all.costs wrote:

But certainly not a majority (or even close) overall...
We's got a bunch of them (and Russians as well) around here, too...
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I never claimed they were a majority - they are the largest group.
http://www.factmonster.com/ipka/A0762137.html
Two hundred years ago, they were a larger percentage.

In July, China displaced Canada as USA's largest trading partner. First time that Canada has not been the first in a long time. Brush up on your Chinese. And keep on beating up on the Cubans - communism must be stopped!
Mike
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Michael Daly wrote:

Read my whole sentence: "I'd also be curious about a cite on the number of Americans with German ancestors being a majority, or at least more numerous than any other single cultural group."
You provided the cite. 15.2% is the largest percentage.

Can't find any 200 year old figures, but that was just after the great Scots-Irish migration, so I'm doubtful. Possible, though, because you're working with much smaller figures overall.
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Michael Daly wrote:

I tried to find something similar for the Colonial period but a quick search didn't find it. I would think otherwise, but I might be wrong.

Given the long border w/ Mexico and the proximity to the South American continent, combined w/ the gross dissimilarity of Asiatic tongues to English, I'd guess on Spanish as the prime candidate...
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ISTR reading an article in the '70s that said that Germanic tongues accounted for something like one third of the US population back then. Look at all the place names in the colonial states that have names that derive from German and plattdeutch words and names.
Mike
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Michael Daly wrote:

I ken, just didn't think the percentages would have been that high.
Of course, the reason for English as the "official" language wasn't owing to popularity as much as the fact they were English colonies.
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Duane Bozarth wrote:

New York and much of the surrounding area was originally colonized by the Dutch. I guess you have to call them Germanic speaking, although the Hollanders I've known don't like to be listed too tightly as "Germanic" peoples. Travel up the Hudson River, up to Schenectady's Stockade area where many, maybe most, of the houses were built in the late 1600s. It's all Dutch, as is Fort Orange, AKA as Albany, NY. The Dutch names dominate.
But, as noted, that was in the seventeenth century. I hadn't realized the Germanic migration had been as extensive as it obviously has been, though I did know the German-American Bund was a big group and a minor problem during WWII. The Yorkville area of Manhattan back in the '60s was heavily Germanic, as were areas of both Schenectady and Albany...some of the best restaurants in the area were German back then. Probably all Arby's or the golden arches now, like too much of the rest of the country.
Put it all together, though, and it's still spread out a lot and not convincing until you realize that "Germanic" applies to several other languages, such as Dutch, which was the language of the original colonizers of much of the New World.
Poor Peter Minuet. He really got screwed, getting taken for 24 bucks for Manhattan, when the sellers didn't even own the joint.
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