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English is Not America’s ‘Official Language’

EnglishWASHINGTON, DC, Apr 24 — Ask your neighbor what the official language of the U.S. is and he or she will likely respond, English, of course.  But they’d be wrong.

Dr. Wayne Wright, a language professor at Purdue University, explains that the Founding Fathers didn’t see a need to mandate any one language be spoken in our newborn nation.

“English was pretty much the dominant language of the United States at the time so there really wasn’t a need to protect it. And they didn’t want to offend their fellow Americans who helped fight for independence.”  That’s not surprising since the original 13 colonies were populated by Dutch, French, and German colonists.

Meanwhile, another professor of linguistics, Dr. David Baron, points out that 97% of U.S. residents speak English despite the fact that it is not America’s official language.

Notwithstanding the generous intent of America’s early colonists when they decided they didn’t need to make English our Official Language, there’s reason to make it “official” now.  At the top of that list is the fact that the vast majority of citizens want it that way, as a new Rasmussen poll shows.

The Rasmussen survey found that the majority of today’s Americans would welcome the notion of making English our official language.  “Official English retains majority approval across demographic and political categories. Eighty-nine percent (89%) of Republicans think English should be the official language of the United States, as do 64% of Democrats and 70% of those not affiliated with either major party.”

The survey also found that 74% of White Americans, 73% of African-Americans, and 71% of other minorities are in favor of making English our official national language.

On a state-by-state level, however, as many as 31 states already have laws making English their official language.

Part of the reason English dominates the languages that residents of the U.S. speak is that when foreign-speaking immigrants come to the U.S. they are generally overwhelmed into learning English to some degree or another.  And, their children will readily pick up the language in school and when they watch TV or go to the movies.  Eventually, for many of them, their native language gets lost, and they adopt English as their language of choice.

Mauro E. Mujica, Chairman and CEO of U.S. ENGLISH, says that “In the United States, our common language— and the language of success— is English… while linguistic diversity should be praised, it is to the benefit of an individual to speak English.”

Not only is American English the dominant language in the U.S., but it’s also gotten the “okay” worldwide — literally.  The word “okay” is uniquely American.  It became part of our lexicon in 1839 when some young jokers distorted the phrase “all correct” turning it into “oll korrect,” which in turn was shortened to OK.  The use of OK to express agreement expanded throughout the U.S. and throughout the world in quick time.  It is now “the most frequently spoken word, in any language, on the planet.”  Oh, and by the way, the second most frequently spoken word is Coca-Cola.

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Michael G
4 months ago

So, if English pervades our society so much so that foreigners willingly embrace it as a means to survive and flourish, why do we need a law making it “official”?

4 months ago

Well now, let’s give everyone the idea that we don’t have any specific language in this country. Maybe we should all go to work for coke and try acting a little less than what we actually are also

4 months ago

All the founding documents are in English. That’s why they didn’t see the need, because it’s obvious.

Todd R
4 months ago

The problem we have today is not the lack of a cohesive language, but rather a lack of cohesive people. At the founding of our country, new citizens strived to assimilate themselves into American society, with some even going so far as to adopt more “American” names. Today, people do not assimilate themselves, and instead strive to bring the ‘old country’ into American society. Just look to Chinese New Year and Cinco de Mayo as examples.

4 months ago

I have to inherently disagree with these noted professors on my mere mortal observance. I will always regard the Official Language of The United States simply because OUR Declaration of Independence AND The US Constitution was established and WRITTEN in English. No annotations nor footnotes in reference. These are The Laws of our Land, written at a time when many of we The People could NOT even read nor write. It was read in English and explained in English to those that could not. Granted, there were educated bi-lingual People that read those words from English to our citizens that couldn’t read it. Communication was in English converted to ensure ALL Men could understand!

4 months ago
Reply to  JOHN

I, too agree that English should be the national language in the United States. But here in NJ the drivers license test is given in 26 different languages!!! So my question is: If all the traffic signs are in English, what is the point of the 26 different languages??? And here you also see signs in grocery stores and on voting ballots in English and Spanish, even though the majority of “Spanish” speak English. Do like they do in Quebec, Canada…if you don’t speak French, you get ignored!!!

JoEllen Deasy
4 months ago

We need to make English our official language especially with all the garbage going on!!!!!

Dan W.
4 months ago
Reply to  JoEllen Deasy

Good one. Now, which of our problems would be resolved by passing a law making English our official language.

4 months ago
Reply to  Dan W.

Probably cause a a more cohesive assimilation by immigrants into american culture and less confusion as to what the American culture of faith and freedom is.

Phil A
4 months ago

Why not make Pig Latin our official language??? That’s about as intelligent as ANYTHING Joe B. has done.

Dan W.
4 months ago

Not really seeing the point of this article. Very little margin between de facto and de jure in this case (and I heard somewhere that the original intent of our Founding Father’s was pretty reliable).

If an immigrant wants to pull themselves up by their own bootstraps, they have no choice but to learn English.

4 months ago
Reply to  Dan W.

I tend to agree. English is the de facto language of international business around the world. It is taught as a mandatory second language in most countries. So if anyone truly wants to get ahead in this world, from a business perspective, a minimum of conversational fluency in English is a must.

This article just seems to be yet another example of an intentional distraction to try and divert peoples’ attention away from much more pressing matters at hand. I guess they just needed an article to fill some space.

K. Martin
4 months ago

Please check out ProEnglish.org if you’re interested in getting English made the official language of the U.S.

4 months ago

While it makes perfect sense for English to be designated the official language of the United States, even when Republicans had control of both houses of Congress and the presidency (under both Bush and Trump), we couldn’t even get a unified vote of all the congressional GOP members in D.C. for such a bill. Much less getting the necessary buy-in from enough congressional Democrats to pass such legislation. So fat chance of getting even something simple like this done with the Democrats in full control. Besides we now have much larger problems to deal with right now, like trying to prevent our country from being dismantled internally.

Jocie Taylor
4 months ago

If I’m in France it should be expected to speak French if I’m in Germany I should be expected to speak German if I’m in Mexico I’m expected to speak Spanish but when you’re in the United States of America you’re expected to speak English

4 months ago
Reply to  Jocie Taylor

You can get by just fine in all those places just speaking English. Because they HAVEN’T demanded that everyone speak only their own language.

Dan W.
4 months ago
Reply to  Jocie Taylor

What do you think would happen to the French tourism market if all tourists were expected to speak French ?

4 months ago
Reply to  Jocie Taylor

I spent 2.5 years ago in Germany, wanted to learn German, everyone there wanted to use English!

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