American English

There are 20 comments on the TwinCities.com story from Jan 12, 2011, titled American English. In it, TwinCities.com reports that:

In "The King's English" , a letter writer suggests that we should, perhaps, establish an "English immersion" program in the St.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at TwinCities.com.

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Observer

Circle Pines, MN

#1 Jan 13, 2011
Tood Peterson:

It only took minutes for people of your ilk to begin exploiting these murders for political gain. Don't even try to pretend that your "foes" instigated this. Do you really think we're going to buy your half-baked narrative?

Jerk

Since: Jun 10

Minneapolis, MN

#2 Jan 13, 2011
Todd,

We are all exposed to information and how we process that determines our actions. I'm exposed to the same political rhetoric from both the left and right as you. Yet I don't take up arms.

Jared Lougner is just another person who went "postal" (do you remember where that term came from?). Sorry not buying the political rhetoric theory and Dupnik was way out of line for suggesting it as a motive.

What are you going to say when Jared admits the reason he did this was because he needed attention.
PeteTodderson

United States

#3 Jan 13, 2011
"Well, it took a few days before the likes of Joe Soucheray ("We know who's to blame in Arizona," Jan. 12) and David Brooks ("A world of superficial tactics and punditry," Jan. 12) felt safe enough to start attacking Sheriff Dupnik, and one can only assume congresswoman Giffords"

"one can only assume congresswoman Giffords" - what an absolutely reprehensible thing to write. Pot calling the kettle black again. Why is it so many of the Move On ilk can't ever seem to, well, move on. Last time I checked it's nut jobs on both the right and left (including Peterson) who talk too much.
Really

Denver, CO

#4 Jan 13, 2011
Todd Peterson,
Apparently you haven't heard one second of Olbermann's Special Comment which came only hours after the shooting. Or Chris Matthews take on the whole tragedy. The thing is though, Todd, that although the right is always blamed first, I knew that you would eventually be eating a s--t sandwich on this issue. How does it taste?
MrWhite

New Baltimore, MI

#5 Jan 13, 2011
Spanish and Ebonics should be banned in the USA. Our country is a former British colony, and was formed by English speaking, Christians. If that is too much for some to accept....well, don't come here or, if you are already here. get out.
Really

Denver, CO

#6 Jan 13, 2011
PS, Todd Peterson, it appears that you are a talented artist. You should stick with that and leave the political punditry to those who have a clue what they're talking about.
Gndydncr

Minneapolis, MN

#7 Jan 13, 2011
Someone alert the authorities. I think there may be a psycho running loose in Newport.

“Ahhhh hee ahw”

Since: Aug 09

Twin Cities

#8 Jan 13, 2011
The PP should be ashamed of printing Todd Petersons ignorant, hateful letter the morning after our president wisely asks us not to lay blame. What a hypocritical jerk
griddy

Saint Paul, MN

#9 Jan 13, 2011
Pioneer Press: Thanks for 'toning down the rhetoric' by presenting comments from a nut-job like todd peterson. Hope you get what you're looking for.
Getflushed

Torrance, CA

#10 Jan 13, 2011
It's simply a sick, transparent joke! NPR is spending all its time making this all about Obama and how he "rises" to the occasion and recaptures HIS importance. They are spending all their time admitting their use of the Memorial for political purposes. Sorry, all the cheering and self-congratulation won't erase the real moral message of paving America with dead babies.
gzaiger

Saint Paul, MN

#11 Jan 13, 2011
" paving America with dead babies "

I try hard to refrain from name calling on this forum, and to comment only on the message. But whoever posted that is a true whack job.
gzaiger

Saint Paul, MN

#12 Jan 13, 2011
MrWhite wrote:
Spanish and Ebonics should be banned in the USA. Our country is a former British colony, and was formed by English speaking, Christians. If that is too much for some to accept....well, don't come here or, if you are already here. get out.
Ebonics is not recoginized as a true language, and never has been. Is it proper english? No, but neither is calling soda "pop". Its a dialect of english. As for elliminating Spanish, I'm assuming you mean from school education. Hmmmm - no interest in international business that would boost our trade with other countries? Seems short sited to me - most people are advocating that we would do better economically if kids learned a second language.
Getflushed

San Jose, CA

#13 Jan 13, 2011
Expand your mind.

Obama stands before Planned Parenthood with not only 55 Million dead on their hands, but actual eugenics policies, promising continued 100% support, then goes to a Memorial and says people should disregard what people do and say and get all touchy feely about opponents. That's not a moral high ground; that's another attempt at silencing opposition.

The inhumanity represented by Obama is accentuated by a bunch of cheering loons attempting to turn somber reflection into tolerating the intolerable.
Sarah D

Saint Paul, MN

#14 Jan 13, 2011
MrWhite wrote:
Spanish and Ebonics should be banned in the USA. Our country is a former British colony, and was formed by English speaking, Christians. If that is too much for some to accept....well, don't come here or, if you are already here. get out.
The East Coast were former British colonies. Learn some American history. My ancestor came to this country before the American Revolution from an area in Europe that later came to be known as GERMANY. I don't think he spoke English when he first arrived.

There were many German and Scandinavian immigrant communities in this country throughout its history. Yes they learned English but they spoke their native languages at home and in their communities. There were German, Norwegian, and Swedish newspapers.

Did all the Italians know English when they first arrived? Sure they learned English but they still spoke Italian at home and in their neighborhoods. Same with Polish, Latvian, whatever immigrant group you want to mention.

Should current immigrants learn English? Of course. It's the dominant language of this country and if they don't learn it they will be unable to fully participate.

But BANNING any language in this country, arresting people for not speaking English (that's what a ban means you know) would go against everything this country stands for and would make the founding fathers roll over in their graves.
MrWhite

New Baltimore, MI

#15 Jan 13, 2011
Sarah D wrote:
<quoted text>
The East Coast were former British colonies. Learn some American history. My ancestor came to this country before the American Revolution from an area in Europe that later came to be known as GERMANY. I don't think he spoke English when he first arrived.
There were many German and Scandinavian immigrant communities in this country throughout its history. Yes they learned English but they spoke their native languages at home and in their communities. There were German, Norwegian, and Swedish newspapers.
Did all the Italians know English when they first arrived? Sure they learned English but they still spoke Italian at home and in their neighborhoods. Same with Polish, Latvian, whatever immigrant group you want to mention.
Should current immigrants learn English? Of course. It's the dominant language of this country and if they don't learn it they will be unable to fully participate.
But BANNING any language in this country, arresting people for not speaking English (that's what a ban means you know) would go against everything this country stands for and would make the founding fathers roll over in their graves.
Yes, but those kinds of "immigrants" were eager and proud to become Americans and help build this country. My own grandparents forbade my parents to speak their native language in favor of English. Even though they were immigrants from Europe if you asked them their nationality they would say "American". The nasty immigrants of today do not want to assimilate. They wish for America to change to suit their needs. If they do not want to become culturally American, they should stay where they are. Typically, in foreign lands, you will find the majority of the people will have something to say denouncing America. Yet, every one of these very same people dreams of sneaking into our evil, imperialistic nation. In places like Pakistan, they would behead you or I just based on our passports, yet when there is a flood, an earthquake, a tsunami, an invasion....a cataclysm of any sort, who do they call?
kuiper

Saint Paul, MN

#16 Jan 13, 2011
MrWhite wrote:
<quoted text> Yes, but those kinds of "immigrants" were eager and proud to become Americans and help build this country. My own grandparents forbade my parents to speak their native language in favor of English. Even though they were immigrants from Europe if you asked them their nationality they would say "American". The nasty immigrants of today do not want to assimilate. They wish for America to change to suit their needs. If they do not want to become culturally American, they should stay where they are. Typically, in foreign lands, you will find the majority of the people will have something to say denouncing America. Yet, every one of these very same people dreams of sneaking into our evil, imperialistic nation. In places like Pakistan, they would behead you or I just based on our passports, yet when there is a flood, an earthquake, a tsunami, an invasion....a cataclysm of any sort, who do they call?
My great-grandmother spent her last 15 years of life in this country, but never learned english. She spent all her time in Italian immigrant neighborhoods, never ventured out. Grandpa spoke Italian at home with his mom, Italian and English with his siblings, and English to everyone else, including his fellow soldiers in WWII. His daughter, my mother, knows just a few Italian phrases. I know none.

Assimilation takes a while.
MrWhite

New Baltimore, MI

#17 Jan 13, 2011
My father became a prosperous American thanks to his hard working immigrants parents. To show his gratitude, he offered to pay for his parents to go to Italy for a summer. They acted a little bewildered, declined his offer and asked "Why would we want to go to Italy?".
Gdubs

Saint Paul, MN

#18 Jan 13, 2011
MrWhite wrote:
Spanish and Ebonics should be banned in the USA. Our country is a former British colony, and was formed by English speaking, Christians. If that is too much for some to accept....well, don't come here or, if you are already here. get out.
Total ban of selected languages, eh? That's one of the more un-American ideas I've seen on Topix. "Here in the land of the free and home of the brave you are not permitted to speak the following languages..." Good luck getting that law passed, ya facist.
MrWhite

New Baltimore, MI

#19 Jan 13, 2011
No, I never said ban select languages. I said English should be the one and only official language of America. If immigrants do not want to assimilate to AMERICAN culture, they should stay where they are. Also, unless they obey our laws and come here legally and through the proper channels, they should be treated as criminals and deported for good. The word "immigrant" has an entirely different meaning to day than it did at Ellis Island. Also, if you are one of those anti-American, Somalians that are trashing Minnesota and demanding what you think America "owes" you...then go back home, worship the Devil and hijack passing ships. We have no use for you.
Gndydncr

Minneapolis, MN

#20 Jan 13, 2011
MrWhite wrote:
My father became a prosperous American thanks to his hard working immigrants parents. To show his gratitude, he offered to pay for his parents to go to Italy for a summer. They acted a little bewildered, declined his offer and asked "Why would we want to go to Italy?".
I think you may be a little harsh, Mr. White. Your stories of your family describe a scenario that they chose for themselves and seemed to work quite well for them. Wouldn't it have been a shame if the "rules" of the country forced them to behave differently. Our country did not earn the nickname of "melting pot" by making all citizens, native born and immigrant alike, behave exactly the same.

Having the opportunity to learn multiple languages is a good thing. That being said, I have no problem with making English the official language of the country, meaning that all publications and signage of a public nature be printed in English only and let the immigrant cope with it as best as they can. There are reasons why immigrants were once required to have an American sponsor. The sponsor was expected to help the immigrant deal with the requirements of living in America until the immigrant was able to handle them on his/her own. At the same time, I don't care what private business does as far as language is concerned. We've all gotten user manuals that have a hundred pages with only about 4 or 5 that are in English. Is that a waste of resources? Maybe, but that is the manufacturer's choice and freedom to choose is what America is all about.

No one took your ancestor's freedoom to choose away from them. We ought to have the courtesy, decency, and respect not to take someone else's ancestor's freedom to choose away from them.

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