Monday, March 17, 2008

Pros and Cons

There are a variety of pros and cons that correspond to my topic. The pro side of this topic agrees to making the English language the official, or common, language of our country. The main reason, I have discovered through my research, as to why so many Americans would rather have an official language is to unite our country. Several significant political leaders argue for this issue rather than against it, for they claim that knowing how to speak English is the key to success in America. For instance, Theodore Roosevelt felt that "...We have room for but one language here, and that is the English language..." Others may argue that it would simplify and expedite matters in education, government, and business, as well as ease communication and racial conflicts. Officiating a national language would encourage immigrants who do not speak it to learn, and it would bring our country together as a whole.
On the other hand, there is the con side, which is for cultural identity and supports the fact that America is a nation of immigrants. A few arguments on the con side are that by having a multilingual country, it would protect public health and public safety, promote tourism, handle emergencies, and administer justice. Having an official language would, in fact, cover up cultural identity as well as discourage immigrants whose native tongue is not English. It wouldn't necessarily increase the percentage of Americans who can speak English, and it doesn't make people who don't speak English any less American than those who do. "English-only" laws are politically incorrect and biased against immigrants. Additionally, many feel that having multiple languages spoken throughout the country makes it interesting, diplomatic, and worldly. An imperative question that one must ask themself about whether or not to make English the official language of the United States is that, isn't it better to learn and become familiar with languages other than one's own rather than know only one language your whole life? It should be recognizable that different languages and cultures bring a uniqueness to our country. This particular controversy is simply a heated topic discussed within the government, however, it does nothing to solve the real conflicts that go on within our country.
I chose to be part of the con side to this issue because I believe that everyone has the right to their own language. America, whether or not one wants to believe it, is a nation made up of immigrants. Those immigrants bring with them their customs and traditions, as well as their cultures and languages. Making English the official language of the US would be discouraging of learning to speak other languages, and upsetting to those whose native language is not English.

10 comments:

Mr.Linus said...

I think you have a solid base of points for the con side, as well as a good understanding of the pros. This is certainly a heated topic, so you should have no trouble finding opinions. You might want to see how other countries have been affected by adoption of official language policies as more factual evidence

alex said...

That's a good idea, thanks for the feedback

jessica said...
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jessica said...

my name is Jessica and i am of the Hispanic decent i came from puerto Rico,an island that the majority speak Spanish only and i am also on the cons side. I heard of this "Chicago should be English only" and i totally disagree with what they are trying to do.I yes speak both English and Spanish and go to a school called Dr.Pedro Albizu Campos puerto rican high school who do not only teach us about America only but about many Hispanics who come to Chicago to make something of them self's who only know Spanish and yes immigrants is one of the biggest in the us. i agree with everything you've had said and know its more interesting not to have one language only i appreciate what you've have wrote it makes me understand better .

Jake said...

i have one thing to say to this monstrosity.... My BALLS!

Sharon Jo said...

By making the U.S an English only country it isn't taking away the peoples right to speak there native language to them selfs. It is simply saying, that they have come to America they should at least speak our language. Every time you call a company they ask you for spanish or English it takes minutes, it would be faster if everyone just spoke one language to eachother.. English. It would also stop confusion between people on a lot of things. I think it is a great idea, making english the spoken language.

Erica said...

America has over 300 languages spoken in the home and out. To say speak american is silly. As Alex said, America is a land of immigrants. And if you really want to speak American, think of the indigenous people of America before settlers came to this land as immigrants. Should we all be speaking Native American then?!

Erica said...
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kuhlarious said...

Since the founding of our country every group of immigrants that came had to learn english. Italians learned. Germans learned. The Chinese learned. Now it is the Mexicans and Spanishes turn to learn english. And you cannot argue that Native American's language was the first because every single tribe spoke a different language. The settlers brought English here and that is what should be spoken.

amyem6 said...

Unfortunately, on the web and in job interviews, we are judged by our language. I worry that job opportunities and social status are limited for those who do not use English in America. I completely support learning and using another language, but how often have we seen "flame wars" on the internet degenerate into accusations of misspellings or poor grammar? When we use English "incorrectly," we are labeled as "stupid" or "wrong." Language is fundamental to our perception of others. In order to have equal opportunities, we much communicate clearly and effectively to our audience. Technically, it is just as correct in Germanic languages like English to end a sentence in a preposition. The rule to not do so only came from Latin rules, which were superimposed on the English language. However, if I want to be taken seriously by academics or a potential employer, I don't put prepositions at the ends of my sentences.