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We need an official language, now! February 10, 2009

Posted by globalizer in Language, Silly stuff.

I just came back from one of the county recycling stations, where I had an interesting conversation with the guy on duty. I think it was about the economic crisis, the fact that it’s even worse than the Great Depression because young people today have no idea how to at least get food on the table even though they have no money (by fishing and hunting), that contractors in the area have absolutely no jobs lined up whatsoever, and that they have been foolish to not save any money when the going was good.

I say I think that’s what it was about . I think I heard snatches such as “Hoover’s days”, “young people”, “contractors”, but the North Carolina dialect was so strong, with an overlay of mumbling, that it might have been about quantum physics, for all I know.

Even though it was a bit uncomfortable (who knows what I was actually agreeing with, all those times when I nodded and said “uh huh” or “yeah”), the experience did provide me with an epiphany.

All those proposals about English as an official language, they have not gone nearly far enough. We need not just an official language, we need a language spoken in such a way that people can actually understand it. Combine that thought with the economic crisis, and think of the possibilities:

  • we will need countless language teachers (who won’t need a little refresher course in either grammar or pronunciation?) , so English majors will suddenly be in short supply
  • we will need an army of officials who can administer official language tests and certify people, so this will create a huge number of new jobs
  • this economic stimulus will eliminate political opposition from right wing Republicans – even those who seem to think that government jobs are not real jobs would have to support it

In short, I have the solution to the deadlock over the economic stimulus package: a spending program which in one fell swoop will garner support both from the “government-expanding, latte-drinking, sushi-eating, Volvo-driving, New York Times-reading” liberals because of the spending aspects and from the “gun-toting, bible thumping bitter wingnuts” because of the support for one of their pet projects.

You can thank me later, President Obama 🙂

Update: OK, just to make sure: y’all do realize this is tongue-in-cheek, right?



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