Another proposal sure to draw fire

After reading this post (see "point 1"), I now notice much more pointedly how English should be the only language of our Federal government's official business. Filing a Federal form? English only. Voting in an election that includes Federal candidates, or is financed in part by Federal money? English only.

If I were running for Senate (idle conjecture, mind you) and wanted to reach Latinos, would I speak Spanish to them? Of course, and I'd learn more of it than I know now to do so. But I'd be telling them that we need English as the official language for Federal business, and that the States can do what they want with their own money.

If more States were irked that the Federal government dictated spoken or written languages to them, maybe more of them would take Federalism seriously and turn away the Federal dollars that carry such strings with them. And the people of those States would suffer, or succeed, on the merits of their choices.

But I digress. Be ready to pick your jaw back up from the floor.

English should be the only language spoken in the American uniform.

I am finding myself training people in my own broken high-school Spanish, because when I speak to them in English they don't understand me. That is unacceptable. An occasional vamanos isn't irksome, but an entire conversation among trainees surely is. Potential mishandling of an expensive test instrument or a weapon would be catastrophic.

There may be a First Amendment problem with a DoD regulation mandating that all official military conduct take place in English, but I'd argue for a good-order-and-discipline exception, the same exception that covers the expressions of disrespect for superiors or disgrace of the uniform.

This is not motivated by any animus towards the language itself, nor the people who speak it. I've conducted business in Latin America, with and without translators, I like the pace of life I saw there, and I'd consider moving my family there for a year or two if my career called for it. But Uncle Sugar's uniformed services have acronyms, brevities, their own language as it were, for a good reason. And that language is based upon English. If you have not served, you might not understand the importance of this point, and any servicemember will be able to explain it to you.

It seems that I have also run afoul of Governor Lamm's eighth point, cited in Emigre's post. Que lastima.

And a belated welcome, Emigre, to the blogroll.

Update, mere hours later: D'oh. After asking around, I am told there already is such a DoD reg. Looking . . .

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