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English Language

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NEWS
September 18, 1986 | By David O'Reilly, Inquirer Staff Writer
"Language is a city, to the building of which every human being brought a stone," wrote the American poet Ralph Waldo Emerson. That was 150 years ago, when even the great cities of London and New York and Philadelphia rose no more than 60 or 70 feet high. Emerson would no doubt gasp if he could step into any one of those swirling, smoky, honking, skyscraping cities today. And he would gasp in amazement and delight at how the English language has grown to become the closest to a global language that we Earthlings possess.
NEWS
November 12, 1987 | By TONY CALIFA
An English Language amendment would deny liberties and rights to those who do not speak English. Organizations like U.S. English and English First are spending hundreds of thousands to pass English language amendments to federal and state constitutions. An English language amendment would make English the "official" language. Why not declare English the official language and demand that all national and state businesses be conducted in English? According to proponents, an English Language amendment is needed because (1)
NEWS
January 3, 2006
ON BEHALF of the foreign-born, legal, tax-paying, law-abiding Daily News readers, I apologize for Marlene Schaffer's letter (Dec. 27). I cannot fathom why she would be "offended" by a sign written in a language she cannot speak; if she would just read the signs written in English she'll do fine. Instead of being "appalled" by people speaking in their native language, she should be fascinated, and a little embarrassed; after all, those folks know two languages and can operate in two worlds.
NEWS
March 12, 2003
RE MILAGROS M. Padilla's letter about Michael Smerconish's column on the toothpaste ad in Spanish: I agree with him. We are in America, and Spanish is not our language. We don't need Spanish commercials since we don't speak Spanish. If Hispanic people love the English language, then let them learn to speak it. We are not asking you to abandon your culture, but if we were to go to a Spanish-speaking country, would we see commercials in English, would we get the option to "press 1" for English, would we get all the comforts of home that are afforded to Spanish people who live here?
NEWS
September 5, 1991 | By STANLEY NEWMAN
The English have long treasured the belief that the English language provides the indestructible bond that joins America and England in an everlasting special relationship. The two Atlantic nations were allies in the two world wars. And as recently as the gulf war, Gen. H. Norman Schwarzkopf spoke of a special camaraderie that linked him with the commander of the British forces in that military encounter. Queen Elizabeth II returned those sentiments by inviting Gen. Schwarzkopf to Buckingham Palace, where she honored him by making him a member of a select circle of dignitaries.
NEWS
January 12, 2016
Florence King, a writer who brought a fierce wit to her novels, essays, and columns, has died. Jack Fowler, publisher of the National Review and a longtime friend of Ms. King's, said she died Wednesday, a day after her 80th birthday, at an assisted-living home in Fredericksburg, Va. Ms. King was best known her National Review column, "The Misanthrope Corner," in which she humorously critiqued public figures and derided political correctness until...
NEWS
June 12, 1993 | By ROBERTO RODRIGUEZ and PATRISIA GONZALES
The leaders of the movement to make English the official language of the United States recently suffered a major setback in Florida, but nonetheless, they are undaunted. Their movement, however, is unnecessary and divisive. As a result of the vote by Dade County commissioners to repeal the 1980 law that made English the official language in Miami and elsewhere in the county, leaders of the movement are now redoubling their efforts to ensure passage of legislation that will meet their objectives.
NEWS
November 1, 2007 | MICHAEL SMERCONISH
IHAVE a distinct memory of a particular eighth-grade science class in junior high, circa 1976. When a buddy of mine was called on and asked to name the male and female genitalia, he quickly responded, "The penis and the Virginia. " That's stuck with me all these years. It's a reminder of the difficulty men of all ages have had in coming up with the proper name for what's in the female zone. (I think that's been since pre-historic times, but I'm not sure.) Funny how we've never had similar trouble with our own plumbing: pecker, johnson, shaft and rod always seem to do the trick just fine.
NEWS
October 15, 1987 | By Andy Rooney
The word "casualty" means someone who is injured by accident and the great short story writer and journalist Ambrose Bierce objected to having it applied to soldiers at war because, he said, they weren't wounded by accident - they were wounded by the enemy on purpose. Bierce disappeared into Mexico in 1913 and was never heard from again. One of the literary legacies he left behind is a little book of words called Write It Right. In it Bierce gives hundreds of examples of misused words and phrases.
NEWS
February 7, 2010 | By John Rossi
This year marks the 60th anniversary of the death of perhaps the most influential English writer of the 20th century, Eric Arthur Blair, better known as George Orwell. Orwell died at the peak of his career with the sales of his most famous novel, Nineteen Eighty-Four (he always spelled out the title), published in June 1949, breaking records. That book and Animal Farm, published four years earlier, have sold more than 11 million copies each and continue to sell today. They made Orwell rich and famous while contributing memorable phrases to the English language: Big Brother, Newspeak, All animals are equal but some are more equal than others.
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NEWS
March 11, 2016
By Samantha Paige Rosen 'All issues are political issues, and politics itself is a mass of lies, evasions, folly, hatred, and schizophrenia," George Orwell declared in his 1946 essay "Politics and the English Language. " Concerned about the social implications of speech that isn't rooted in the concrete, Orwell laid out six rules to ensure that politicians and writers are as transparent in their language as possible. Avoiding clichés that obscure the real meaning of words and being precise ensure that language doesn't "corrupt thought.
NEWS
January 12, 2016
Florence King, a writer who brought a fierce wit to her novels, essays, and columns, has died. Jack Fowler, publisher of the National Review and a longtime friend of Ms. King's, said she died Wednesday, a day after her 80th birthday, at an assisted-living home in Fredericksburg, Va. Ms. King was best known her National Review column, "The Misanthrope Corner," in which she humorously critiqued public figures and derided political correctness until...
NEWS
June 16, 2013 | By George Will
In May 1918, with America embroiled in the First World War, Iowa's Gov. William Lloyd Harding dealt a blow against Germany. His Babel Proclamation - that was its title; you cannot make this stuff up - decreed: "Conversation in public places, on trains, and over the telephone should be in the English language. " The proscription included church services, funerals, and pretty much everything else. Iowa's immigrant communities that spoke Danish, Dutch, Norwegian, and French objected to this censorship of the languages of America's wartime allies.
NEWS
July 1, 2012 | Choose one .
    By Christopher Lawler   FOR THE INQUIRER   When I announced to friends that I had booked a trip to Paris last summer, many responded with those old Francophobe prejudices: "Parisians are rude" or "The French don't like Americans. " I honestly don't get it. I never encountered a single impolite Parisian in the nine days I spent there. On the contrary, the locals were delightful and went out of their way to accommodate a couple of English-speaking tourists who made respectful (if laughable)
ENTERTAINMENT
December 20, 2011 | By Steven Rea, Inquirer Movie Critic
Rest assured, Stieg Larsson acolytes. One of the most important questions to be asked in the late Swedish author's mega-selling mystery The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo - the line "Do you want a coffee?" - makes it into David Fincher's movie. In fact, this beautifully taut and terrifying thriller is faithful to its source in just about every way that matters. Perhaps the opening title sequence - a kind of Mapplethorpe-meets-Bond S&M whir set to Karen O's urgent take of Led Zeppelin's "Immigrant Song" - is too much.
ENTERTAINMENT
August 29, 2010
How the English Language Became the World's Language By Robert McCrum Norton. 312 pp. $26.95 Reviewed by Howard Shapiro To anyone who travels beyond the United States, it's not news that, for better or worse, English has become the world's language. No longer will people abroad automatically let you try out your French or Spanish or Japanese at the start of an everyday transaction in a restaurant, or shop, where your American-tinged tongue is more likely to draw an immediate English response, no questions asked.
NEWS
February 7, 2010 | By John Rossi
This year marks the 60th anniversary of the death of perhaps the most influential English writer of the 20th century, Eric Arthur Blair, better known as George Orwell. Orwell died at the peak of his career with the sales of his most famous novel, Nineteen Eighty-Four (he always spelled out the title), published in June 1949, breaking records. That book and Animal Farm, published four years earlier, have sold more than 11 million copies each and continue to sell today. They made Orwell rich and famous while contributing memorable phrases to the English language: Big Brother, Newspeak, All animals are equal but some are more equal than others.
NEWS
August 21, 2009 | By Lisa Stefany
So you're an English major. What are you going to do with that? As an English major, I get this question all the time: "Oh, an English major. How - interesting! So what are you going to do with that? You know, there's not much money in Shakespeare!" I'm not aspiring to be the next timeless playwright or profound novelist or avant-garde poet, although these are the professions - along with teaching, which I lack the patience for - that are most closely associated with my major of choice.
NEWS
November 1, 2007 | MICHAEL SMERCONISH
IHAVE a distinct memory of a particular eighth-grade science class in junior high, circa 1976. When a buddy of mine was called on and asked to name the male and female genitalia, he quickly responded, "The penis and the Virginia. " That's stuck with me all these years. It's a reminder of the difficulty men of all ages have had in coming up with the proper name for what's in the female zone. (I think that's been since pre-historic times, but I'm not sure.) Funny how we've never had similar trouble with our own plumbing: pecker, johnson, shaft and rod always seem to do the trick just fine.
NEWS
January 3, 2006
ON BEHALF of the foreign-born, legal, tax-paying, law-abiding Daily News readers, I apologize for Marlene Schaffer's letter (Dec. 27). I cannot fathom why she would be "offended" by a sign written in a language she cannot speak; if she would just read the signs written in English she'll do fine. Instead of being "appalled" by people speaking in their native language, she should be fascinated, and a little embarrassed; after all, those folks know two languages and can operate in two worlds.
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