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Thread: Bad Cultures

  1. #1 Bad Cultures 
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    Cultures define ethical systems. Some ethical systems are clearly worse than others. An extreme case might be, for example: Nazism. Nazism was aculture. I think we all universally agree that it was a bad culture, and nobody misses it now that it's gone underground. (Pockets of it still exist, unfortunately.)


    Now my question is: why is it that we only recognize this as true in the most extreme cases? Why is culture this thing you are not supposed to criticize or try to change? Is genocide the only criticism that anyone takes seriously? A culture can't just have some minor bad habits and be called out on them?


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    The problem is that we make cultural judgments often off of the basis of our own cultural biases. Implicit in the notion that we can criticize another culture is that our culture is right. Then you have the historical issue of colonialism being used as a way to crush other cultures and languages in a way motivated entirely by racism. We aren't so far removed from the legacy of colonialism that we can ignore its ramifications.

    We should condemn acts, not cultures, cultures are maliable and not as monolithic as we tend to think. American culture contains a diversity of opinions ranging from KKK style radical white supremacism to far left socialist. Criticizing an entire culture is dangerously reductionist.


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  4. #3  
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    Culture based on technological advance and science = good.
    Culture based on stron religion and Theims = Bad.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Raziell
    Culture based on technological advance and science = good.
    Culture based on stron religion and Theims = Bad.
    Technology and science is nothing to build a culture on, it doesn't tell you anything about how you should use technology or science....
    "I almost went to bed
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    and how i kissed you then
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    shy as though I'd
    never been your lover "
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  6. #5  
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    perfectionist......

    Once a Chinese said ironically that a person is bad is only because he made you unhappy.

    So which is the bad culture?

    Communication and understanding is much more important than cut 'bad habits' in one side's eyes.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Raziell
    Culture based on technological advance and science = good.
    Culture based on stron religion and Theims = Bad.
    The Nazis would have agreed with this.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370
    Quote Originally Posted by Raziell
    Culture based on technological advance and science = good.
    Culture based on stron religion and Theims = Bad.
    The Nazis would have agreed with this.
    As would the Chinese invading Tibet.
    Leszek. Pronounced [LEH-sheck]. The wondering Slav.
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  9. #8  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Leszek Luchowski
    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370
    Quote Originally Posted by Raziell
    Culture based on technological advance and science = good.
    Culture based on stron religion and Theims = Bad.
    The Nazis would have agreed with this.
    As would the Chinese invading Tibet.
    What is the relationship between these?
    Teach me when Tibet once been a individual country? But please do not go too far even before 1400s.
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    The crackdown on the Falun Gong is probably a more apt comparison.

    Or the mass slaughter during the early days of the CCP, and really the KMT is guilty of that too. The violent struggles against landowners and such that saw a few million dead. Then the famine caused by government incompetency of the Great Leap Forward, and the mass chaos of the Cultural Revolution.

    Edit: And even if you consider the invasion of Tibet (which the Chinese had failed to control after the fall of the Qing dynasty anyway), to be justified by previous Chinese sovereignty in the area. It is impossible to deny the cultural and religious oppression of the region that occurred during the Cultural Revolution and continued on afterward.
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    Quote Originally Posted by wangwy13
    Teach me when Tibet once been a individual country? But please do not go too far even before 1400s.
    Is 1911-1951 recent enough?
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  12. #11  
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    To be fair to China, the warlord period saw the complete break down of centralized power in China. Europeans and the Japanese backed their pet warlords in regions and tried to hold them up as the real Chinese government, or independent countries. Tibet was backed by the British and pretty much ignored by most of the warlords, and the eventual consolation of power in Central China under the KMT, and to a less extent the CCP in the North, that resulted in civil war distracted China until after the CCP had a firm hold of the region.

    Tibetan sovereignty isn't so cut and dry as it seems, though my sympathies do lie with them, in much the same way my sympathies lie with the natives here in Canada, but I'm not sure I'd support carving out an Inuit nation in the North of Canada. How China has treated the Tibetan culture and people is easier to condemn than their claim to Tibet as a part of China.
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    and how i kissed you then
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    Personally I do not like the term about 'bad' cultures. I didn't go so further to the level about technology and religion. Just do not like that, since every one can only see from his eyes and what you see is not certainly truth. To any culture, 'bad' is too bad to assert. Even about Nazis, yes, they kill innocent people, they have strong secret police, they disobey many good sign as a modern country. But why they became this? all other countries just took easy when Nazis didn't invade themselves or wanted to share the victory of Nazis. So to ask why Nazis is bad, that's okay, they are really bad in many ways, but don't forget about other countries, they are not totally good too. All cultures have problems.

    Okay, about Tibet, you probably do not know Mongolian and Tibetan Affairs Commission and its previous organization. That explains the questions about 'individual' and 'ignored'. Google or Yahoo or Bing, try yourself to avoid my personal views.
    There was just merely no other military force in Tibet except Tibetan local force before 1950. If that is invasion, what about Prussia and Germany, Sardinia and Italy?
    Han dominated Chinese culture seems always have the problem to exaggerate the rights of Hans and look down upon other people's rights. But Culture Evolution is not the same. Firstly, C-E is not specially to any minor ethic people. Secondly, many people hot-bloodly got into C-E are Tibetan. That is a country wide crazy due to the sudden improvement of so called Techn. and culture and extreme pressure from outside.
    The later things is too recent I wish I can debate here some years later, when we see more clearly.
    Some local Falun Gong leaders in my neighborhood just liked to stop people go to hospital when they have disease, while they have no powers to prevent the disease went worse. It is said they had been praised by higher leader for this. So I have no positive opinions about Falun Gong.
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  14. #13 hi 
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  15. #14  
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    The problem is that we make cultural judgments often off of the basis of our own cultural biases.
    Exactly.


    "I think we all universally agree that it was a bad culture, and nobody misses it now that it's gone underground."
    Culture is an artificial construct. Each culture is a combination of numerous features and cultural/methods/information/views elements from the past, from other cultures.

    In addition, if a dictator calls his regime "Democracy" and kills people, it doesnt mean democracy is bad, it just means someone using that label did bad things.
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  16. #15  
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    Quote Originally Posted by i_feel_tiredsleepy

    We should condemn acts, not cultures, cultures are maliable and not as monolithic as we tend to think. American culture contains a diversity of opinions ranging from KKK style radical white supremacism to far left socialist. Criticizing an entire culture is dangerously reductionist.
    Instead of acts, we should condemn the value a culture assigns or fails to assign to those acts.

    High tech cultures exist because the culture assigns a high value to education and technological accomplishment. If they didn't assign that value then it is highly unlikely (though not impossible) that they would have achieved it by luck.
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    Great topic here, I'm sure as a nation the USA projects a culture to the rest of the world. So why do other cultures want to be friendly with us or enemies with us. If we were talking about people and substituted personality for culture we can see an easy answer. Everybody can relate to not getting along with some people because of personality alone. I believe the same can be said about culture, sometimes they don't mix well (like oil and water). This doesn't mean one is good and the other is bad.

    Next problem I see with projecting a culture is the USA is made up of many thousands of other cultures, many of which don't get along with each other. Maybe all this cultural cross contamination can produce a new Superior culture, but I'm having trouble seeing it. In fact I think it has a lot of potential to go bad. Just like people can have personality disorders, nations can have cultural disorders.
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  18. #17  
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    "Cult of personality" situations are an easy way to muddle things so that objective results are ignored. Think about Kim Jong Il in N. Korea. He's a horrible ruler. He certainly keeps the country in squallor even more than his circumstances (blockades and such) would make necessary. Yet, he's able to use posters and such to convince his people that he's some kind of messiah.

    I think a culture can be analyzed the same way as a ruler can be analyzed. My problem with "gangsta rap" culture is not their tendency to wear their pants so they dangle around their knees. It's their insistence on encouraging people not to finish high school, bullying anyone who doesn't wear gang colors, and flaunting the law every chance they get.
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    Quote Originally Posted by kojax
    I think a culture can be analyzed the same way as a ruler can be analyzed. My problem with "gangsta rap" culture is not their tendency to wear their pants so they dangle around their knees. It's their insistence on encouraging people not to finish high school, bullying anyone who doesn't wear gang colors, and flaunting the law every chance they get.
    The music of the time tends to reflect the current culture taking place in the nation. The reason we have gangsta rap at all is because we have many millions of citizens in gangs. I would have to say it is a very good example of “Bad Culture”.
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  20. #19  
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    Quote Originally Posted by i_feel_tiredsleepy
    We should condemn acts, not cultures, cultures are maliable and not as monolithic as we tend to think. American culture contains a diversity of opinions ranging from KKK style radical white supremacism to far left socialist. Criticizing an entire culture is dangerously reductionist.
    I mostly agree. The only exception might be the cultures that are entirely dependent on a characteristic that most others could make as argument for as being inherently "bad." American culture was once heavily dependent on slavery. That was hardly unique, but certainly could be construed as "bad." Others have practiced wholesale genocide, (America came close and certainly practiced ethnic cleansing of natives).

    Today of course other cultures, particular in the Middle East argue Western capitalism is inherently wrong because of the level of exploitation. Having traveled among the desperately poor marsh Arabs while Western and Chinese companies pumped hundreds of millions of dollars of oil out from under their feet--there's certainly support for their position.

    But perhaps more important is whether cultures carries the ability to correct itself to identify and discontinue those "bad" acts. For American and many of the Western cultures the answer appears to be yes, even if we have trouble admitting openly the faults of our ancestors.
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    Here in the UK we are having massive problems with Islam, which seems to be a culture as well as a religion. David Cameron addressed the issue very slightly a few days ago, but I will bet money that it is nothing but bluster. We have about three million Muslims living in the UK, they think that their culture is superior, and they despise Western decadence. The strange thing is, is that they choose to live here, we did not in the main, invite them here. I think different cultures are fine, as long as they are separated by national boundaries or sea water. Different cultures can still trade, they always have done, but most often different cultures do not mix. Perhaps they are not supposed to, it is just the way of the world.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Wilson
    I think different cultures are fine, as long as they are separated by national boundaries or sea water.
    Wow. Just... wow. Do you not see the ignorance in making such a comment... how the second half of that sentence directly and fully contradicts the first?
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    Now that you have pointed it out , yes. However I am certain that you will agree with the rest of my statement.
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  24. #23  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Wilson
    Now that you have pointed it out , yes. However I am certain that you will agree with the rest of my statement.
    Your generalizations bother me a bit. You have an awful habit of asserting things in the absolute, when the world in which we exist is much much much more gray.



    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Wilson
    We have about three million Muslims living in the UK, they think that their culture is superior, and they despise Western decadence.
    Like that one. And, the below? That's just stupid, and wrong on multiple levels:

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Wilson
    Different cultures can still trade, they always have done, but most often different cultures do not mix. Perhaps they are not supposed to, it is just the way of the world.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Wilson
    Here in the UK we are having massive problems with Islam, which seems to be a culture as well as a religion. David Cameron addressed the issue very slightly a few days ago, but I will bet money that it is nothing but bluster. We have about three million Muslims living in the UK, they think that their culture is superior, and they despise Western decadence.
    I thought David Cameron's statements were right on point and resonated into America as well as it's intended audience. I hope he extends his commentary far more in the near future. Islam as a faith has a history of thriving in a wide range of cultures already, from successful integration of several million in the US to through much of Africa and Indonesia. I hope the prime minister defines his muscular liberalism as some hard limits, such as insistence that laws will remain common among all citizens while advertising it's protections also extend to Muslims.
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  26. #25  
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    Quote Originally Posted by inow
    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Wilson
    I think different cultures are fine, as long as they are separated by national boundaries or sea water.
    Wow. Just... wow. Do you not see the ignorance in making such a comment... how the second half of that sentence directly and fully contradicts the first?
    Maybe we could split the difference and say that it is morally wrong to choose one's residence for purely economic reasons, rather than choosing it because you like the local culture and desire to be a contributing member of it.

    I'm pretty sure that is the problem that Dave is describing. The Muslim population in the UK mostly didn't move there because they liked British people, and that is just plain impolite. At the very least, if people do move for economic reasons, they should be adults about it, and acclimate. All cultural accommodation should be a one-way street. They accommodate the dominant culture. It needn't trouble itself to accommodate them. It's already giving them money. That's accommodation enough.
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    Quote Originally Posted by kojax
    All cultural accommodation should be a one-way street. They accommodate the dominant culture. It needn't trouble itself to accommodate them.
    Ah... So those black people in the US should have just accommodated the white people, since they were the dominant culture? The whites needn't bother itself accommodating the blacks?

    Golly. Super logic you're using there. Screw multiculturalism. They need to understand their place!
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    Quote Originally Posted by inow
    Quote Originally Posted by kojax
    All cultural accommodation should be a one-way street. They accommodate the dominant culture. It needn't trouble itself to accommodate them.
    Ah... So those black people in the US should have just accommodated the white people, since they were the dominant culture? The whites needn't bother itself accommodating the blacks?

    Golly. Super logic you're using there. Screw multiculturalism. They need to understand their place!
    I think you are over stating what was really intended here. I didn't have any trouble understanding what kojax's meaning was. He was only referring to people who made a choice to immigrate to another country and culture. In the USA we accommodate Spanish speaking people who chose to move here, many of them illegally. Now if we call a business we have to press “1” for English. There used to be a requirement that to become a U.S. citizen you had to be able to speak English. But somehow I don't think that's true anymore.
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    Quote Originally Posted by inow
    Quote Originally Posted by kojax
    All cultural accommodation should be a one-way street. They accommodate the dominant culture. It needn't trouble itself to accommodate them.
    Ah... So those black people in the US should have just accommodated the white people, since they were the dominant culture? The whites needn't bother itself accommodating the blacks?

    Golly. Super logic you're using there. Screw multiculturalism. They need to understand their place!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lance Wenban
    There used to be a requirement that to become a U.S. citizen you had to be able to speak English. But somehow I don't think that's true anymore.
    It is still a requirement, but there is no objective test. The applicant has to write and read a sentence in English but the examiner can use his/her own subjective judgment in passing or failing, and they seem to be quite lenient.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lance Wenban
    There used to be a requirement that to become a U.S. citizen you had to be able to speak English. But somehow I don't think that's true anymore.
    I think it is still true. But for practical reasons if nothing else most immigrants to the US speak Spanish as a first language so government and business alike have a vested interest in communicating in Spanish. Where I think you cross the line though is if we as a nation stopped teaching English in public schools to accommodate the immigrants--therefore short circuiting their ability to integrate with the broader American culture, legal system etc. I watched a similar process as a 3rd generation French Canadian--my grandparents speaking only broken English, my folks able to speak but not write English well and my sister and I who learned English as our first language. Some accommodation is necessary to help immigrants integrate.

    Likewise we shouldn't create new laws which isolate them without good reason or fail to enforce our own principles to protect them from societal prejudice. A minor example from a few years ago was the Islamic women forbidden to watch (not swim with) her children swim at a public pool because she wanted to wear a hijab. The courts eventually sided with her rights to practice that aspect of her religion because there was no good reason for the restriction so long as she didn't enter the pool.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Wilson
    Quote Originally Posted by inow
    Quote Originally Posted by kojax
    All cultural accommodation should be a one-way street. They accommodate the dominant culture. It needn't trouble itself to accommodate them.
    Ah... So those black people in the US should have just accommodated the white people, since they were the dominant culture? The whites needn't bother itself accommodating the blacks?

    Golly. Super logic you're using there. Screw multiculturalism. They need to understand their place!
    inow, are you drunk?
    Haven't had a single drink, but Kojax' treatment of the Muslims implies they are second class citizens who are not worthy of being a part of his and your culture, and that makes me a bit sick.

    I'm no fan of religion of any sort, really, but people are people and what is being advocated above seems reminiscent of how whites treated blacks in the US just a few short decades ago.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Fox
    Quote Originally Posted by Lance Wenban
    There used to be a requirement that to become a U.S. citizen you had to be able to speak English. But somehow I don't think that's true anymore.
    I think it is still true. But for practical reasons if nothing else most immigrants to the US speak Spanish as a first language so government and business alike have a vested interest in communicating in Spanish. Where I think you cross the line though is if we as a nation stopped teaching English in public schools to accommodate the immigrants--therefore short circuiting their ability to integrate with the broader American culture, legal system etc. I watched a similar process as a 3rd generation French Canadian--my grandparents speaking only broken English, my folks able to speak but not write English well and my sister and I who learned English as our first language. Some accommodation is necessary to help immigrants integrate.

    Likewise we shouldn't create new laws which isolate them without good reason or fail to enforce our own principles to protect them from societal prejudice. A minor example from a few years ago was the Islamic women forbidden to watch (not swim with) her children swim at a public pool because she wanted to wear a hijab. The courts eventually sided with her rights to practice that aspect of her religion because there was no good reason for the restriction so long as she didn't enter the pool.
    I do realize some accommodation might be necessary, but this language problem didn't happen overnight. Suppose you tell me how we managed to accumulate many millions of Spanish speaking citizens that can't communicate in English, and then explain to me why some school districts can only hire Spanish speaking teachers.

    I remember the first time they introduced the phone recordings to press “1” to continue in Spanish about 30 or 35 years ago. Now we have to press “1” to continue in English. That's real progress for you and damned irritating.
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  34. #33  
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    Quote Originally Posted by inow
    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Wilson
    Quote Originally Posted by inow
    Quote Originally Posted by kojax
    All cultural accommodation should be a one-way street. They accommodate the dominant culture. It needn't trouble itself to accommodate them.
    Ah... So those black people in the US should have just accommodated the white people, since they were the dominant culture? The whites needn't bother itself accommodating the blacks?

    Golly. Super logic you're using there. Screw multiculturalism. They need to understand their place!
    inow, are you drunk?
    Haven't had a single drink, but Kojax' treatment of the Muslims implies they are second class citizens who are not worthy of being a part of his and your culture, and that makes me a bit sick.

    What I was saying is that if their only goal in being there is to make money, and they have no intention of contributing to the local culture, then they should consider that money to be sufficient compensation for the lack of accommodation.

    In my mind, any time you take a decision that is supposed to be emotional, like which community to live in, and make it on a financial basis instead, you are acting like a prostitute. And, I don't have a problem with that, so long as they're professional about it. Prostitutes can't have really high expectations about you showing them lots of love and affection. That's why you pay them.


    I'm no fan of religion of any sort, really, but people are people and what is being advocated above seems reminiscent of how whites treated blacks in the US just a few short decades ago.
    Except.... black people never chose to live in the USA. After generations of slavery, those people had nowhere to go. Going back to Africa wouldn't be any more comfortable for them than staying here. And we kind of owed them.

    I'm sure most Muslims living in the UK are there for only one reason.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lance Wenban
    I do realize some accommodation might be necessary, but this language problem didn't happen overnight. Suppose you tell me how we managed to accumulate many millions of Spanish speaking citizens that can't communicate in English, and then explain to me why some school districts can only hire Spanish speaking teachers.

    I remember the first time they introduced the phone recordings to press “1” to continue in Spanish about 30 or 35 years ago. Now we have to press “1” to continue in English. That's real progress for you and damned irritating.
    As for why, well that's because we've got something like a million Spanish speakers coming into the states per year and as I've already described it takes at least a generation to change over to English. We require Spanish speaking teachers because we've got to communicate with them--it's the same in many communities of other immigrants as well; even after 3 generations schools seek out French speakers where in Canadian French communities in New England for business or school alike--it only makes sense.

    I don't see as a problem at all. When we stop teaching English or when there's it no English option on the phone then I'll get worried. Heck it's only for the practical reasons that our entire legal system is based on English that I feel would should continue to push English. Our representative government works well in any language. If my Grand kids need to learn Spanish as well as English we'll be all the richer for it.
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    Quote Originally Posted by kojax
    I'm sure most Muslims living in the UK are there for only one reason.
    Then you're a bigot and a fool, and you need to avoid the continuation of such inaccurate generalizations.
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    I agreed with you up until this point.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Fox
    . If my Grand kids need to learn Spanish as well as English we'll be all the richer for it.
    We have to budget peoples' mind space the same as anything else. People's attention spans are already getting short from the variety of media and digital devices getting integrated into our daily existence. Adding a mandatory language to the list of things people have to know to survive is just going to make them neglect something else to make room for it.

    Besides, if we're going to be a multi-lingual society, then we should do it in a way where different kids are learning different languages, so we'll have a wider variety of interpreters available.
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    [quote="inow"]
    Quote Originally Posted by kojax
    I'm sure most Muslims living in the UK are there for only one reason.
    All I can to is personal experienced from my time in Iraq. Many of our interpreters, because they know at least some English, were trying to get to the US or England. While economical reasons were certainly part of the reasons there was a lot more to including security so they didn't have to worry about being killed by a rival tribe or religious faction, ability to get a job, buy land or start a business without having to pay the equivalent of thousands of dollars in bribes to government officials, clean water, reliable and safe power and a hundred other reasons.

    Many Mexican immigrants come to America for a similar range of reasons often boiling down to a combination of jobs, safety for their family, and getting away from the corruption.
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    edit: I mistakenly overwrite everything I wrote. It's in Lynn Fox's quotes, though.
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    Quote Originally Posted by kojax
    My problem is just the pretense. I object to a person insisting there ought to be some kind of relationship if he/she is here just for finances (or security, ... etc). There's no genuine personal connection involved in that, and people should just admit it.
    Not sure what you mean by "personal connection." Most Americans are from immigrants who came to the States for the same reason as recent generations. I also think immigrating for economical opportunity and security is a heck of a lot more laudable than the empty jingoism and the sense of entitlement expressed by many Americans.

    Why should they go one step further and add insult to injury by expecting us to also learn their culture
    They enrich us as a culture and just about every group becomes productive within a few generations.

    I agree for the most part they shouldn't force us to adapt to their culture--and I think that's part of the point the British Prime minister was making.
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    My experience with immigrants stems mostly from work I did in the Nashville, TN area through my church group. I learned to speak Spanish and then I did a lot of service projects, translating for people at job interviews and stuff like that.

    It bothers me when people from third world countries just plain feel entitled to things like safety and lack of corruption, because my observation, dealing with people from a variety of latin countries, was an almost universal lack of any sense of civic responsibility present in the mindset of everyone I met. It's understandable when you consider what the places they come from are like, but it's also problematic.

    People often don't appreciate the costs. If the community were not politically active enough to demand resignations when their leaders acted badly, or sometimes even do brave things like standing up to bullies, we'd lose what we had in a single generation. That's why I think it's so important for immigrants to become "contributing" members of the community.
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    Quote Originally Posted by kojax
    People often don't appreciate the costs. If the community were not politically active enough to demand resignations when their leaders acted badly, or sometimes even do brave things like standing up to bullies, we'd lose what we had in a single generation. That's why I think it's so important for immigrants to become "contributing" members of the community.
    People also don't appreciate their contributions, for example study after study show immigrants as being among the most charitable both in terms of money and time. The people with the least to give, giving the largest fractions of what little they have. http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2009/05/1...-generous.html
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    Quote Originally Posted by kojax
    People often don't appreciate the costs. If the community were not politically active enough to demand resignations when their leaders acted badly, or sometimes even do brave things like standing up to bullies, we'd lose what we had in a single generation. That's why I think it's so important for immigrants to become "contributing" members of the community.
    Very good point, but how do we do that if as Lynx Fox says that we are increasing our Spanish speaking population by over one million per year. We have enough Spanish speaking people here now that if they don't want to learn English they don't have to, and why should they when they don't see not learning English as much of a problem, because everybody they know speaks Spanish.

    Some time ago I had heard that some group actually had developed a new language to be used as a common world language. That way everybody could learn just two languages and be able to communicate with anybody else regardless of where they grew up on this planet. Is this a dead idea or is somebody still pursuing it?
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    Lance, I think that you must be referring to Esperanto, it looks like it has not taken off. I think the world has enough problems without inflicting an artificial language upon people.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Esperanto
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Wilson
    Lance, I think that you must be referring to Esperanto, it looks like it has not taken off. I think the world has enough problems without inflicting an artificial language upon people.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Esperanto
    That sounds very negative, but I can see acceptance problems from many nations that didn't have a part in constructing it. I noticed you used the word “inflicting” as though it would be a bad thing. Humans have built some very impressive things and I'm betting they could easily build a artificial language that's better than any natural language and anything that might help unite the world would be a very good thing (IMO).
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Fox
    Quote Originally Posted by kojax
    People often don't appreciate the costs. If the community were not politically active enough to demand resignations when their leaders acted badly, or sometimes even do brave things like standing up to bullies, we'd lose what we had in a single generation. That's why I think it's so important for immigrants to become "contributing" members of the community.
    People also don't appreciate their contributions, for example study after study show immigrants as being among the most charitable both in terms of money and time. The people with the least to give, giving the largest fractions of what little they have. http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2009/05/1...-generous.html
    Yeah. The culture has a lot of inherent goodness, and that wasn't lost on me either. I loved seeing how (most latins) treated their kids. There's a lot of love, and even between individuals who don't know each other, people are very approachable.

    If anything, I think the problem with that culture is people are too gentle. How's that saying go? "In the land of the blind, the one eyed man is king"? People are so committed to their niceness that they won't stand up for themselves when members of the community decide to become bullies. If people do assert themselves, it ends up like El Salvador's 10 year war, or the Chiapas rebellion in Mexico, with total pandemonium.

    I think people need to learn and adopt those particular traits that cause our economy if they want to participate in that economy. We're very much driven by a strict sense of law and order. We have huge fines for things like littering, and zero tolerance for things like running from the police. And we get especially angry if an official takes a bribe, even a very small one. From the perspective of Mexican culture, that is a huge paradigm shift.
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    Quote Originally Posted by kojax
    We're very much driven by a strict sense of law and order. We have huge fines for things like littering, and zero tolerance for things like running from the police. And we get especially angry if an official takes a bribe, even a very small one. From the perspective of Mexican culture, that is a huge paradigm shift.
    From what I've seen in several Middle Eastern nations it's much the same--a huge paradigm shift.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lance Wenban
    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Wilson
    Lance, I think that you must be referring to Esperanto, it looks like it has not taken off. I think the world has enough problems without inflicting an artificial language upon people.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Esperanto
    That sounds very negative, but I can see acceptance problems from many nations that didn't have a part in constructing it. I noticed you used the word “inflicting” as though it would be a bad thing. Humans have built some very impressive things and I'm betting they could easily build a artificial language that's better than any natural language and anything that might help unite the world would be a very good thing (IMO).
    In my opinion English is a universal language, if it is not broken, do not fix it.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Wilson

    In my opinion English is a universal language, if it is not broken, do not fix it.
    It is broken, especially written english.
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    Meh, forcing a language on people has always been a tool of oppression. I'm thinking of the writings of certain writers like Chinua Achebe, who turned to writing in English because the enforced unified Igbo language was, as he felt, artificial and deprived of any cultural history or weight. In English we have centuries of influence that have produced nuances in the language, connotations that have a certain subjectivity that lends itself to more expressive language, that would be loss with any new constructed language. I wouldn't want to speak a language that is all about being simple and direct.
    "I almost went to bed
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    Quote Originally Posted by Twit of wit
    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Wilson

    In my opinion English is a universal language, if it is not broken, do not fix it.
    It is broken, especially written english.
    At the risk of being savaged, will you please explain what you mean ?
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    Quote Originally Posted by kojax
    I agreed with you up until this point.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Fox
    . If my Grand kids need to learn Spanish as well as English we'll be all the richer for it.
    We have to budget peoples' mind space the same as anything else. People's attention spans are already getting short from the variety of media and digital devices getting integrated into our daily existence. Adding a mandatory language to the list of things people have to know to survive is just going to make them neglect something else to make room for it.

    Besides, if we're going to be a multi-lingual society, then we should do it in a way where different kids are learning different languages, so we'll have a wider variety of interpreters available.
    That's ridiculous, I come from a city where 90% of the population is functionally bilingual in French and English, and probably close to 100% can get by with someone speaking the other language if they had to. Education in the other official language is required in every high school and college (in the English sense, not American) and we have plenty of mind space left for other stuff.

    Not to mention multi-lingual countries like Switzerland that seem to do fine and usually learn English on top of French and German.
    "I almost went to bed
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    Quote Originally Posted by i_feel_tiredsleepy
    Meh, forcing a language on people has always been a tool of oppression. I'm thinking of the writings of certain writers like Chinua Achebe, who turned to writing in English because the enforced unified Igbo language was, as he felt, artificial and deprived of any cultural history or weight. In English we have centuries of influence that have produced nuances in the language, connotations that have a certain subjectivity that lends itself to more expressive language, that would be loss with any new constructed language. I wouldn't want to speak a language that is all about being simple and direct.
    It always amazes me what comes up at a mere suggestion. First I wasn't suggesting anything like forcing a new language on anyone. But it could first be accepted as the official world language by the U.N., then anyone wanting to earn official status as a world citizen, with whatever privileges that would entail, could learn the language as a second language to the native one they grew up with. As far as the new language not being very expressive. That wouldn't last very long. Two or three generations and it would be expressive and feel as natural as any current natural language now feels.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lance Wenban
    It always amazes me what comes up at a mere suggestion. First I wasn't suggesting anything like forcing a new language on anyone. But it could first be accepted as the official world language by the U.N., then anyone wanting to earn official status as a world citizen, with whatever privileges that would entail, could learn the language as a second language to the native one they grew up with. As far as the new language not being very expressive. That wouldn't last very long. Two or three generations and it would be expressive and feel as natural as any current natural language now feels.
    Ha, but that would be forcing it on people, if not violently. Who has access to learning this language, but of course those who have the luxury of studying new languages. The language has no use other than what some distant power structure has instilled in it, there are already ways for people to communicate through any number of translators. This is the same way English is already used, and how Latin was used historically in Europe. The privileged classes control what the universal language is, and they control what benefits that language gives you.

    And I doubt two three generations would produce an expressive language, the language is cut off culturally from any legacy, the artistic uses would be interesting to explore though.
    "I almost went to bed
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    Quote Originally Posted by i_feel_tiredsleepy
    Ha, but that would be forcing it on people, if not violently. Who has access to learning this language, but of course those who have the luxury of studying new languages. The language has no use other than what some distant power structure has instilled in it, there are already ways for people to communicate through any number of translators. This is the same way English is already used, and how Latin was used historically in Europe. The privileged classes control what the universal language is, and they control what benefits that language gives you.

    And I doubt two three generations would produce an expressive language, the language is cut off culturally from any legacy, the artistic uses would be interesting to explore though.
    I still disagree with the forcing issue, and I don't like the idea of a privileged class controlling what the so called universal language will be. Also I should have said 2 or 3 generations of people growing up with this new language.

    If English is the current universal language why did the term “Tsunami” become universal instead of “Title Wave”?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Wilson
    Quote Originally Posted by Twit of wit
    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Wilson

    In my opinion English is a universal language, if it is not broken, do not fix it.
    It is broken, especially written english.
    At the risk of being savaged, will you please explain what you mean ?
    It's spelling is horrible, it's vocabulary is a mess.
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    It's rich, but was surely not designed by Occam.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lance Wenban
    If English is the current universal language why did the term “Tsunami” become universal instead of “Title Wave”?
    From the Wiki; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tsunami
    Tsunami are sometimes referred to as tidal waves. In recent years, this term has fallen out of favor, especially in the scientific community, because tsunami actually have nothing to do with tides.
    English has always been a bastard language. Like the romance languages, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, and others, English has Latin roots, just not as predominate as the romance languages.
    English also has heavy Germanic roots, for example, hamburger.
    As an international language English will continue to evolve as a conglomerate of many languages.
    There are many foreign words that have been absorbed into the English lexicon without being significantly anglicized, malaise, burrito, and I would say now also tsunami.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Twit of wit
    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Wilson
    Quote Originally Posted by Twit of wit
    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Wilson

    In my opinion English is a universal language, if it is not broken, do not fix it.
    It is broken, especially written english.
    At the risk of being savaged, will you please explain what you mean ?
    It's spelling is horrible, it's vocabulary is a mess.
    Jesus Christ, is that it ?
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    Quote Originally Posted by GiantEvil
    Quote Originally Posted by Lance Wenban
    If English is the current universal language why did the term “Tsunami” become universal instead of “Title Wave”?
    From the Wiki; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tsunami
    Tsunami are sometimes referred to as tidal waves. In recent years, this term has fallen out of favor, especially in the scientific community, because tsunami actually have nothing to do with tides.
    English has always been a bastard language. Like the romance languages, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, and others, English has Latin roots, just not as predominate as the romance languages.
    English also has heavy Germanic roots, for example, hamburger.
    As an international language English will continue to evolve as a conglomerate of many languages.
    There are many foreign words that have been absorbed into the English lexicon without being significantly anglicized, malaise, burrito, and I would say now also tsunami.
    That's the best answer I've heard yet. Also as I understand it the Japanese were the first to really record and study tsunamis over the past few hundred years, which in my book gives them first claim on the name. Plus I'm sure others are like me in that they just plain like the sound of tsunami better than whatever was in second place.

    Absorbed foreign words, I am interested in this topic and sense you've started a short list already, I wouldn't mind seeing that list get a little longer.

    There have been many recent articles about China becoming the new emerging superpower who's economy will surpass the U.S. by 2030. If that does come to pass, I assume one of the major dialects of Chinese will start becoming the International language of choice.
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    [quote="GiantEvil"]
    Quote Originally Posted by Lance Wenban
    If English is the current universal language why did the term “Tsunami” become universal instead of “Title Wave”?
    Please read my second post. :?
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    A guy from the English Premier League was a few years ago chastised for a play on words. He was a Geordie who used the word " Tsunami" but meant Toon
    Army"
    So twit, what is so broken about that ?
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    Dave - English is a jacked up language according to many. It's a subjective opinion, but one shared by quite a large group of people... Especially those who try to learn it as a second language. You have irregular verbs, as one major example of challenges. You have the same word meaning several different things, or huge amounts of local vernacular and/or jargon. It's in the eye of the beholder. You are acting like someone just dishonored your mother or something. Chillax.
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    Quote Originally Posted by inow
    Dave - English is a jacked up language according to many. It's a subjective opinion, but one shared by quite a large group of people... Especially those who try to learn it as a second language. You have irregular verbs, as one major example of challenges. You have the same word meaning several different things, or huge amounts of local vernacular and/or jargon. It's in the eye of the beholder. You are acting like someone just dishonored your mother or something. Chillax.
    I actually like to think of that as a virtue of English. However, it's true of pretty much any oldish language with large numbers of speakers. French has the same issue, but there's an "International French" that is really nothing more than Metropolitan French from Paris that has been successfully enforced on the rest of France, but there are huge variations in how French is spoken from Canada to Haiti to the Ivory Coast. The French just have binocular vision about their own language, can you believe that films from Quebec are shown with subtitles in France. I find that incredibly bizarre. As diverse as English dialects are, I've never required subtitles to understand the British (although I did grow up watching Coronation Street). I've been told by those knowledgeable about such matters that dialects of Mandarin Chinese are incredibly diverse as well, making oral communication difficult at times, though the written language is universal.

    I can only assume there is a similar diversity to how Spanish and Portuguese are used internationally as well. And Afrikaner certainly has significant differences from Dutch and German.
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    Quote Originally Posted by inow
    Dave - English is a jacked up language according to many. It's a subjective opinion, but one shared by quite a large group of people... Especially those who try to learn it as a second language. You have irregular verbs, as one major example of challenges. You have the same word meaning several different things, or huge amounts of local vernacular and/or jargon. It's in the eye of the beholder. You are acting like someone just dishonored your mother or something. Chillax.
    Inow, you are trying to wind me up, right. Neverless ,you are a sponser of a spoof.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Wilson
    Inow, you are trying to wind me up, right.
    Yes... Usually when I tell someone to chillax, that means I'm trying to wind them up. Nothing gets past you, Dave.
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    inow, thank you. 8)
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    Quote Originally Posted by i_feel_tiredsleepy
    As diverse as English dialects are, I've never required subtitles to understand the British (although I did grow up watching Coronation Street). I've been told by those knowledgeable about such matters that dialects of Mandarin Chinese are incredibly diverse as well, making oral communication difficult at times, though the written language is universal.

    I can only assume there is a similar diversity to how Spanish and Portuguese are used internationally as well. And Afrikaner certainly has significant differences from Dutch and German.
    Most of the time I can watch British programs. But some of them like MI6 are a bit hard to follow. Australian is never a problem, however what they call black English can be very difficult. A fast talking New Yorker can be hard to follow and all the fairly new gang lingo can be hard to follow.

    When you think about how fast languages can change, even within one country, It's amazes me that we can still communicate with each other.
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    I wonder if you'd feel equally offended if you had to press one for New York or press two for Missouri due to the dialect and accent.

    Basically, I'm having a hard time understanding why having an option for spanish on automated telephone systems is so offensive to some people, and am equally confused why those people who tend to have a problem with this tend to be those with the worst english skills and poorest reading/writing ability (read: less educated).

    Would you be equally offended if you were living in China and they had a telephone option for english?
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    I wish those British guys would learn to speak English.
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    So the other day I use the drive through at Don Pedro's and order camaron con carne asada in Spanish. I got the steak but no shrimp, go figure. Maybe it was because the PA on the menu board translates everything into Donald Duck'ese.
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  72. #71  
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    Quote Originally Posted by inow
    I wonder if you'd feel equally offended if you had to press one for New York or press two for Missouri due to the dialect and accent.
    We both know this will never happen.

    Basically, I'm having a hard time understanding why having an option for spanish on automated telephone systems is so offensive to some people.
    It's not the option for Spanish that bothers me, it's the one for English that offends me. English is the official language of the U.S., so it should be a given and not an option. Anyway it used to be that way, and that was okay with me.

    Would you be equally offended if you were living in China and they had a telephone option for english?
    Besides finding myself living in China, I'd have to say what a lucky break this is for me.
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  73. #72  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lance Wenban
    Quote Originally Posted by inow
    I wonder if you'd feel equally offended if you had to press one for New York or press two for Missouri due to the dialect and accent.
    We both know this will never happen.
    You didn't address the question.


    Quote Originally Posted by Lance Wenban
    English is the official language of the U.S.
    Really? Since when? Do you have a citation for this claim?


    Quote Originally Posted by Lance Wenban
    Would you be equally offended if you were living in China and they had a telephone option for english?
    Besides finding myself living in China, I'd have to say what a lucky break this is for me.
    So, in other words, if I read you correctly... you are able to easily comprehend just how profoundly appreciative a spanish speaking person must feel when they have the option for spanish on a US automated telephone service? Is that correct?
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  74. #73  
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    Quote Originally Posted by inow
    Quote Originally Posted by Lance Wenban
    English is the official language of the U.S.
    Really? Since when? Do you have a citation for this claim?
    When I went to school the only required language was English.


    Quote Originally Posted by Lance Wenban
    Would you be equally offended if you were living in China and they had a telephone option for english?
    Besides finding myself living in China, I'd have to say what a lucky break this is for me.
    So, in other words, if I read you correctly... you are able to easily comprehend just how profoundly appreciative a spanish speaking person must feel when they have the option for spanish on a US automated telephone service? Is that correct?
    In my last post I thought I made it very clear that I never had a problem with an option for Spanish.
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  75. #74  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lance Wenban
    Quote Originally Posted by inow
    Quote Originally Posted by Lance Wenban
    English is the official language of the U.S.
    Really? Since when? Do you have a citation for this claim?
    When I went to school the only required language was English.
    I asked for a citation, though. Your anecdotal experience of only speaking english while in school is hardly support of a suggestion that "english is the official language of the US."


    Quote Originally Posted by Lance Wenban
    In my last post I thought I made it very clear that I never had a problem with an option for Spanish.
    My apologies for misconstruing your actual position. Your clarification is appreciated, and I concede to being foolish in my reply given your previous acknowledgment.
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    Quote Originally Posted by inow
    Quote Originally Posted by Lance Wenban
    Quote Originally Posted by inow
    Quote Originally Posted by Lance Wenban
    English is the official language of the U.S.
    Really? Since when? Do you have a citation for this claim?
    When I went to school the only required language was English.
    I asked for a citation, though. Your anecdotal experience of only speaking english while in school is hardly support of a suggestion that "english is the official language of the US."
    Again lets be clear, I said “English was the only required language” I didn't have a choice where English was concerned. But Spanish & French were only elective subjects. Also, I seem to remember a candidate in a presidential election making a statement about English being the official language of the U.S.

    I can't remember which election or candidate it was. Maybe my memory is bad, but I did hear that somewhere.
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    I think you're missing my point. The fact that you weren't given a choice in school does not mean it's the required language of the US. Recall the specific claim you made. That's where I'm focusing my challenge.


    You said,
    English is the official language of the US.
    I say that's a load of horseshit, and am eager for you to prove otherwise.
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  78. #77  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lance Wenban

    It's not the option for Spanish that bothers me, it's the one for English that offends me. English is the official language of the U.S., so it should be a given and not an option. Anyway it used to be that way, and that was okay with me.
    I'm interested in how you would, using the present state of telephone technology, make a change to reflect this.

    At some point he user of the system will have to tell the system that they prefer one language over the other and the "press 1 for x press 2 for y" is about the only option that is feasible.
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    Quote Originally Posted by inow

    I say that's a load of horseshit, and am eager for you to prove otherwise.
    inow, you are such a pendant, leave the guy alone.
    Latinos are Republican. They just don't know it yet.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lance Wenban
    It's not the option for Spanish that bothers me, it's the one for English that offends me. English is the official language of the U.S., so it should be a given and not an option. Anyway it used to be that way, and that was okay with me.
    Actually English is not the official language of the United States. It is simply the defacto standard because our legal system is written in English and most people speak it. But English doesn't enjoy any national standard as "the official language." There have been several candidates in recent years that have suggested adding it to the US Constitution, but it's never gotten much traction.

    And why shouldn't Spanish be an option? It's one damn finger press, or on many systems, just the spoken word "English." What business would make it difficult to speak with nearly 40 million potential customers on purpose? We have enough economic problems without adding friction. Why should we want our government to make it harder to route a first-language Spanish speaker to someone who can answer a question, like how to vote, register a car, answer a tax question etc.

    A huge segment of this country came from immigrants. Why should we hold such a sense of entitlement merely because we happen to be born here that was can't be inconvenienced enough to press one button on a phone?
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  81. #80  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Wilson
    Quote Originally Posted by inow

    I say that's a load of horseshit, and am eager for you to prove otherwise.
    inow, you are such a pendant, leave the guy alone.
    I'm pretty sure you meant to call me a pedant, not a pendant.
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    Quote Originally Posted by inow
    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Wilson
    Quote Originally Posted by inow

    I say that's a load of horseshit, and am eager for you to prove otherwise.
    inow, you are such a pendant, leave the guy alone.
    I'm pretty sure you meant to call me a pedant, not a pendant.
    No, I actually meant a hanging ornament.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paleoichneum
    Quote Originally Posted by Lance Wenban

    It's not the option for Spanish that bothers me, it's the one for English that offends me. English is the official language of the U.S., so it should be a given and not an option. Anyway it used to be that way, and that was okay with me.
    I'm interested in how you would, using the present state of telephone technology, make a change to reflect this.

    At some point he user of the system will have to tell the system that they prefer one language over the other and the "press 1 for x press 2 for y" is about the only option that is feasible.
    For over 20 years it was “ press 1 to continue in Spanish or just wait to continue in English” in other words English didn't need a selection, because it was considered the standard or primary language. Check me if I'm wrong, but what was the problem with leaving it that way?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Fox
    Actually English is not the official language of the United States. It is simply the defacto standard because our legal system is written in English and most people speak it. But English doesn't enjoy any national standard as "the official language." There have been several candidates in recent years that have suggested adding it to the US Constitution, but it's never gotten much traction.
    Okay, I stand corrected and I do apologize for side tracking this topic.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lance Wenban
    For over 20 years it was “ press 1 to continue in Spanish or just wait to continue in English” in other words English didn't need a selection, because it was considered the standard or primary language. Check me if I'm wrong, but what was the problem with leaving it that way?
    I don't like to wait, so I threatened to sell my AT&T share unless it was changed.
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  86. #85  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ophiolite
    Quote Originally Posted by Lance Wenban
    For over 20 years it was “ press 1 to continue in Spanish or just wait to continue in English” in other words English didn't need a selection, because it was considered the standard or primary language. Check me if I'm wrong, but what was the problem with leaving it that way?
    I don't like to wait, so I threatened to sell my AT&T share unless it was changed.
    I think Ophiolite was being sarcastic, but its a very valid poit that he makes, why force people to wait when a single button press take them immediately on to he next part of their call in the language of their choice. Forcing people who want to use English to wait while people using other languages are able to immediately press and go will rumple many more feathers then giving everyone equal opportunity to choose.
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    That was pretty bad gentlemen, I'll try a better one tomorrow. No excuse either...
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  88. #87  
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    Quote Originally Posted by jackson33
    Lance; Your not totally wrong...


    The Official Language was part of the 'Articles of the Confederacy', was voted on and by one vote (over German) became the 4th Article. Later while the current Constitution was being drawn up, it was felt the need to mention this was not needed*. In total;

    Article 4: Official Language

    The official language is English.
    http://www.wspid.com/articles.asp#4
    Im wondering why you linked up to the articles of confederation for the "world society for pediatric infectious diseases"

    what does this have to do with the topic?

    Quote Originally Posted by jackson33
    In 31 States have "English" as their official language

    http://www.us-english.org/view/13
    From what I can find 28 states have English as the sole official language.

    It should also be noted that One state, Hawaii (English and Hawaiian) and five of the territories: American Samoa (Samoan and English), Guam (Chamorro and English), Northern Mariana Islands (English, Chamorro, and Carolinian), and Puerto Rico (Spanish and English) are officially bilingual.

    Along with those six, three states are de facto bilingual: Louisiana (English and French), Maine (English and French), and New Mexico (English and Spanish)

    Quote Originally Posted by jackson33
    *
    Why didn't the founders make English the official language? It simply may not have occurred to them. This is not as far-fetched as it may sound. It was not until near the end of the Constitutional Convention that someone suggested something as essential as a Bill of Rights, and the Convention decided against that proposal as unnecessary.

    All fifty-five delegates to the Constitutional Convention spoke English. They took it for granted English was the language of this country. Since the overwhelming majority of the American population spoke English, the founders may not have thought it necessary to declare in law what existed in fact.
    http://www.usefoundation.org/view/17
    The point remains that at the federal level the United States has not declared an "Official" language.
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    Quote:
    Article 4: Official Language

    The official language is English.


    http://www.wspid.com/articles.asp#4
    jackson33's referenced website here is "World society for pediatric infectious diseases".

    The Official Language was part of the 'Articles of the Confederacy', was voted on and by one vote (over German) became the 4th Article.
    From this website referenced by jackson33; http://www.us-english.org/view/12
    Myth: A proposal in Congress to make German the official language of the United States failed by one vote. Reality: Congress never voted on a proposal to make German the official language.iii (The myth probably is based on a 1794 proposal to translate some laws into German. It was defeated in the House of Representatives, 42-41.)iv
    And never mind the rest, Paleoichneum beat me to it while I was composing my post. I notice that he has capitalized his web handle according to the rules of English for proper names, unlike jackson33.
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  90. #89 if you guys have finished talking about America's language 
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    I was gonna start a new thread, but this seems an apt place...

    The British PM seems to think multiculturalism has failed.
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-12371994

    Others agree.
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/opinion/ne...ectid=10663643

    The arguments are generally that multiculturalism leads people to focus on differences between communities and seek to preserve these differences. People attempting to critique or satirise a culture are shot down, threatening freedom of expression. It also helps to confirm the idea that culture and race are inherent and fixed biological traits. Such a view would seem to support the OP.

    For balance this article argues otherwise, stating the above observations are false conclusions.

    http://www.eurozine.com/articles/200...oianov-en.html
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paleoichneum
    I think Ophiolite was being sarcastic,
    I was trying for ironical whimsy with inherent substance, but things don't always work out. 8)
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  92. #91 Re: if you guys have finished talking about America's langua 
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    Quote Originally Posted by Prometheus
    I was gonna start a new thread, but this seems an apt place...

    The British PM seems to think multiculturalism has failed.
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-12371994

    Others agree.
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/opinion/ne...ectid=10663643

    The arguments are generally that multiculturalism leads people to focus on differences between communities and seek to preserve these differences. People attempting to critique or satirise a culture are shot down, threatening freedom of expression. It also helps to confirm the idea that culture and race are inherent and fixed biological traits. Such a view would seem to support the OP.

    For balance this article argues otherwise, stating the above observations are false conclusions.

    http://www.eurozine.com/articles/200...oianov-en.html
    This is less of an issue in Canada where non-European immigrants are still a small portion of our population, though a significant one in the major urban centers.

    Quebec, with the long-term political success of left wing nationalism at the provincial level has adopted an official policy of "interculturalism." Which some think is just Orwellian for cultural assimilation, but the government people seem to think is accepting intercultural communication to form a common shared culture, and contains the assumption that some cultural ideas are indeed superior to others. Though I think in practice, the Quebec based support of interculturalism operates under the assumption of the superiority and value of French/Quebecois culture in the public sphere. There are troubling manifestations of this attitude in public policy. Such that it is illegal to have signs for business without French on them. The children of immigrants do not have the right to educate their children in English. And secularism, which I approve of in general, being forced on people through bans of religious symbols for public employees.

    I'm sure my more nationalist compatriots think those are all great things, but I think they impede on individual liberty.
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  93. #92  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paleoichneum
    I think Ophiolite was being sarcastic, but its a very valid point that he makes, why force people to wait when a single button press take them immediately on to he next part of their call in the language of their choice. Forcing people who want to use English to wait while people using other languages are able to immediately press and go will rumple many more feathers then giving everyone equal opportunity to choose.
    I like sarcastic, and his point is well taken.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Fox

    And why shouldn't Spanish be an option? It's one damn finger press, or on many systems, just the spoken word "English." What business would make it difficult to speak with nearly 40 million potential customers on purpose? We have enough economic problems without adding friction. Why should we want our government to make it harder to route a first-language Spanish speaker to someone who can answer a question, like how to vote, register a car, answer a tax question etc.
    So, why Spanish and not Russian? No matter what you do, there's the problem that you can never know enough languages to deal with everyone. When I was doing my thing in Nashville, I didn't just get sent hispanic immigrants to deal with. I got sent Arabs, Russians, ... people from a lot of places. However, the only foreign language I knew was Spanish. I was considered to be the closest thing on staff that was available for the others, so I dealt with them too. Ultimately I simply had to learn to listen carefully and talk slowly, and use English anyway.

    I think that, by necessity, any true melting pot must focus all of its effort on a single language if it is to be a magnet for all cultures, There is no way to favor them all equally (since it would involve the un-imaginably huge expense of keeping an army of translators on hand at all times), so the next best thing is to neglect them all equally.



    A huge segment of this country came from immigrants. Why should we hold such a sense of entitlement merely because we happen to be born here that was can't be inconvenienced enough to press one button on a phone?
    --
    English is amazing for it's diversity of nuanced meanings but it's spelling is a knitemair.
    Yes, and all of those other immigrant groups willingly gave up their language of origin. One of my great grandfathers was an immigrant from Germany. However, his son, my grandfather, never learned any German at all.

    I think it's silly that people think of that as a tragedy. Why should we deliberately raise the cost and difficulty of communication?
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    Quote Originally Posted by kojax
    So, why Spanish and not Russian? No matter what you do, there's the problem that you can never know enough languages to deal with everyone.
    If you were a business owner how would you answer that question?

    The government does it for nearly the same reasons.

    It's practical and efficient to provide an option for the largest languages by population.

    It's targeted as well. In Maine for example there are sometimes French options as well as it being a requirement to get a job there. But seldom a Spanish option or requirement if it's a local business or county office. Why? Because some communities are still predominantly French speaking and there are very few fluent Spanish speakers (though secondary schools usually offer it).

    Parts of our cities are similar, look at the number of places named "little (something)"--there are probably even centers of Russians which cater to Russians. I know for a fact there's communities that cater to Arabs even in States like Kentucky and our INS often start immigrants in those same places when they come to America so they can consolidate their efforts--again its efficient to do so.
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  96. #95  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Fox
    Quote Originally Posted by kojax
    So, why Spanish and not Russian? No matter what you do, there's the problem that you can never know enough languages to deal with everyone.
    If you were a business owner how would you answer that question?

    The government does it for nearly the same reasons.

    It's practical and efficient to provide an option for the largest languages by population.

    It's targeted as well. In Maine for example there are sometimes French options as well as it being a requirement to get a job there. But seldom a Spanish option or requirement if it's a local business or county office. Why? Because some communities are still predominantly French speaking and there are very few fluent Spanish speakers (though secondary schools usually offer it).
    Doesn't that just reward the group that has the worst family planning?


    Parts of our cities are similar, look at the number of places named "little (something)"--there are probably even centers of Russians which cater to Russians. I know for a fact there's communities that cater to Arabs even in States like Kentucky and our INS often start immigrants in those same places when they come to America so they can consolidate their efforts--again its efficient to do so.
    You don't actually have to look too far. The nearby town of Woodburn Oregon has a substantial Russian community (about 30 miles south of Portland on I-5) And Wilsonville too. Any time I visit the Fry's store in Wilsonville, I come across at least one person from Eastern Europe. I even saw a Russian language mobile health vehicle parked outside once, so there certainly is some attempt being made to communicate in Russian for them.

    But, culturally, Russians aren't inclined to have massive broods of children when they marry. The nation of Russia is actually experiencing negative population growth.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demographics_of_Russia

    So, in other words: they plan their families responsibly, like any upstanding cultural member of the world community should do, and we're penalizing them for it.
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  97. #96  
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    Quote Originally Posted by kojax
    So, in other words: they plan their families responsibly, like any upstanding cultural member of the world community should do, and we're penalizing them for it.
    This brings up a point. How does a Russian or any other foreign language speaking individual feel about our two choice automated business phone answering machines?

    Sense the reason for this system appears to be based on numbers, does anyone know where to find a break down on the actual number of foreign language speaking people for at least the top 6 languages being spoken in the U.S.?

    1. English
    2. Spanish
    3.
    4.
    5.
    6.

    I think everybody agrees that English and Spanish are number 1 & 2, but by how much?
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  98. #97  
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    According to a 2000 census on languages spoken at home.

    1. English - 215 million
    2. Spanish - 28 million
    3. Chinese languages - 2.0 million + (mostly Cantonese speakers, with a growing group of Mandarin speakers)
    4. French - 1.6 million
    5. German - 1.4 million (High German) + German dialects like Hutterite German, Texas German, Pennsylvania German, Plautdietsch
    6. Tagalog - 1.2 million + (Most Filipinos may also know other Philippine languages, e.g. Ilokano, Pangasinan, Bikol languages, and Visayan languages)
    7. Vietnamese - 1.01 million
    8. Italian - 1.01 million
    9. Korean - 890,000
    10. Russian - 710,000
    11. Polish - 670,000
    12. Arabic - 610,000
    13. Portuguese - 560,000
    14. Japanese - 480,000
    15. French Creole - 450,000 (mostly Louisiana Creole French - 334,500)
    16. Greek - 370,000
    17. Hindi - 320,000
    18. Persian - 310,000
    19. Urdu - 260,000
    20. Gujarati - 240,000
    21. Armenian - 200,000

    Taken from Wiki.
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  99. #98  
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    Quote Originally Posted by i_feel_tiredsleepy
    According to a 2000 census on languages spoken at home.

    1. English - 215 million
    2. Spanish - 28 million
    3. Chinese languages - 2.0 million + (mostly Cantonese speakers, with a growing group of Mandarin speakers)
    4. French - 1.6 million
    5. German - 1.4 million (High German) + German dialects like Hutterite German, Texas German, Pennsylvania German, Plautdietsch
    6. Tagalog - 1.2 million + (Most Filipinos may also know other Philippine languages, e.g. Ilokano, Pangasinan, Bikol languages, and Visayan languages)
    7. Vietnamese - 1.01 million
    8. Italian - 1.01 million
    9. Korean - 890,000
    10. Russian - 710,000
    11. Polish - 670,000
    12. Arabic - 610,000
    13. Portuguese - 560,000
    14. Japanese - 480,000
    15. French Creole - 450,000 (mostly Louisiana Creole French - 334,500)
    16. Greek - 370,000
    17. Hindi - 320,000
    18. Persian - 310,000
    19. Urdu - 260,000
    20. Gujarati - 240,000
    21. Armenian - 200,000

    Taken from Wiki.
    Thank you, that leaves little doubt about why our businesses and government answering machines only support 2 languages. Sure glad I don't have to wait on that complete list.
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  100. #99  
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    Quote Originally Posted by kojax
    any true melting pot must focus all of its effort on a single language if it is to be a magnet for all cultures,
    The melting pot idea went by the wayside many years ago. I've heard the US referred to as a salad bowl, which I think is a better description of the type of America I'd MUCH prefer to live in. We are already far too homogeneous, even loosing our regional architectures, dialects, and regional food preference all replaced by much more boring and uniform sites, sounds, and smells and taste where ever we go etc.

    Immigrants bring cultural richness we need. (on an international level it's the root cause of why many cultures hate Western influence)

    The family size comments are ugly. While I agree with you in general that large families are bad for the planet, I strongly disagree with condemning an immigrant who comes from a society that growing old without starvation means having lots of kids to take of you for continuing that "tradition" for a few generations.
    Meteorologist/Naturalist & Retired Soldier
    “The Holy Land is everywhere” Black Elk
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  101. #100  
    Forum Ph.D. Dave Wilson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Fox

    Immigrants bring cultural richness we need. (on an international level it's the root cause of why many cultures hate Western influence)
    Are you talking about third world immigrants ? Are you talking about third world cultures ? This is the sort of convoluted nonsense, that is starting to cause great harm to Western Nations.
    Latinos are Republican. They just don't know it yet.
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