Friday, January 30, 2009

Good News from Nashville: Diversity Not Uniformity

Linguist Geoffrey Pullum wrote that "making English the official language of the United States of America is about as urgently called for as making hotdogs the official food at baseball games."

Tom Barry, TransBorder Project
January 23, 2009

"Nashville listened to its leaders—the governor, the mayor, and a vast coalition of churches, businesses, and universities—and defeated an English-only measure by nearly 10,000 votes in Thursday's special election." That's the report from the Tennesseanthe day after the city referendum on an amendment that would have made Nashville the largest city in the nation with an "official English" law.

With financial and logistical support from the Arlington, VA-based ProEnglish, Nashville councilman Eric Crafton founded Nashville English First to spearhead a charter amendment that would have obligated the city government to conduct all government business in English. While the main case for the English-only measure was that it would save the city in translation costs, the issue of identity set the tone of the debate. [...]

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