English Is The Language Of America

There was a bit of a flap about a sign in a park in the town of Merrimack, NH last week. It wasn't that the sign was offensive, inappropriate, too big, or too small. Instead the small brouhaha was all over the sign being in English.

It appears that the town government refused to post a new sign at the town's Wasserman Park that listed the park rules. It wasn't that the old sign was out of date or illegible. The reason the town councilors refused to post the new sign was because it was in Spanish. The town's Parks and Recreation department wanted the sign in order to inform the non-English speaking patrons of the park of the rules. But the councilors refused, and that set off some of the do-gooders in town.

Not everyone believes the town councilors did the wrong thing. In fact, a majority of the townspeople seem to agree with them. One person, herself an immigrant that spoke little English when she arrived from Vietnam, agrees wholeheartedly with the decision.

My family and I were originally from Vietnam. We came to this country about 12 years ago as refugees. We started our new life speaking broken English. There was time when we struggled with understanding, speaking, writing and reading in English. However, we never thought of demanding or expecting signs to be posted in Vietnamese for ourselves or in other languages for those who have come from different parts of the world.

Instead, we learned the language by taking English as a second language classes, talking to people, reading books, watching TV, going to school and so on. I believe there are a lot of immigrants out there who have undergone the same situation and do the same thing. They were willing to learn and speak English in order to improve their lives, as well as to assimilate into this society to become good citizens. This is one way to show the passion and appreciation for this country which has been sheltering us. This is an English speaking country.

That's something my maternal grandparents understood. When they arrived here in the 1930's they spoke Finnish and Swedish, but little or no English. They took the time and made the effort to learn English because they knew it was the key to making their way to success in their adoptive country.

What I believe is that since you have made a commitment to live in a country, becoming a citizen of that country, you need to assimilate into its society and should not become a burden on society. Learning the language is one of the first important steps. In the United States that means speaking English; in Spain that means speaking Spanish; in Russia, speaking Russian. It is the same idea if you come and live at someone's home; you should follow his or her rules, not the other way around.

But it seems that the politically correct morons and leftists believe otherwise. After all, in their view America is always wrong and every other culture on the planet is far superior to ours. Therefore we must make accommodations for the non-English speaking residents of the US, legal or otherwise. Never mind that it will trap them into being permanent second-class citizens, and most likely poverty-stricken ones at that. As long as US culture is subsumed or destroyed, the PC jerks will be placated.

In reviewing the proposal of the parks and recreation and police departments for a Spanish-language sign in Wasserman Park, I wonder if they are being prejudiced. Don't they realize that there other ethnic groups who speak different languages, for instance Portuguese, Dutch, Japanese and so on? Why have signs not been put up in those languages? Why only in Spanish? Is the town staff sending a message saying that the people whose primary language is Spanish, are too lazy or too stupid to learn English? I would be very upset if I were a Spanish-speaking person. I would take it in as an insult.

They should be upset because it is an insult.

I can see multilingual signs in tourist areas or ports of entry like airports. It makes perfect sense under those circumstances. But I cannot see the logic of doing that everywhere, particularly at a small town park far away from the usual tourist areas of interest.

I've seen some corporations kowtow the pressure to post multilingual signs even though in many places they are entirely unnecessary. A perfect example of this is Lowe's.

One of their big box home improvement stores opened in our town early this year. My first time in there to pick up some electrical odds and ends was almost my last. Everywhere I looked there were signs in English and Spanish. Why? Why two languages? And why Spanish?

Frankly, if Lowe's was going to post signs in a language other than English here in central New Hampshire, French would make more sense. There are a hell of a lot more French-speaking people here than Spanish speakers. We get a large number of French-speaking tourists from Quebec every year. We also have a large number of families of French Canadian descent, many of whom still speak French...or at least the Quebecois version of French.

Posting signs in Spanish makes absolutely no sense. But most of the illegal immigrants in America speak Spanish, not French. And maybe that's why.

The town councilors made the right decision. English is the language of America. It's about time that people here remember that.

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