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Official Language

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NEWS
December 27, 1996 | By William Raspberry
'Sup?" the cabbie said. "No, thanks," I said. After pigging out over Christmas, I was trying to cut back on my caloric intake. "Besides," I pointed out, "it looks to me like you've only got half a filet of fish and what's left of a small order of fries. " "What you be talkin' 'bout, my man?" he said. "I don't be offerin' you my grub; I be sayin' hello. You know, like, what's up?" Now, I'm a reasonable man, and I don't expect my cabdriver to speak like - well, a journalist.
NEWS
October 30, 1995 | By Charles King
Previous attempts to mandate an official language have been cast as constitutional amendments, a difficult course of action. But a bill introduced by Rep. Toby Roth (R., Wis.) - the subject of hearings in Washington last week - has a chance of accomplishing this end by cutting federal spending on bilingual programs. Roth's bill would halt funding for bilingual education, abolish bilingual electoral ballots and allow individuals to bring civil suits against institutions that violate English-only federal statutes.
NEWS
October 7, 1986 | By GEOFFREY NUNBERG, From the New York Times
Strange as it may seem, the people of California - the creators of Marinspeak and Valley Girl Talk - will vote this fall on a measure intended to protect the English language from baneful foreign influences. Proposition 63 would amend the state constitution to make English California's "official language" and to prevent state business from being transacted in other tongues. The vote is the most important test to date for former Sen. S.I. Hayakawa, whose organization, U.S. English, seeks ultimately to attach a similar amendment to the United States Constitution.
NEWS
April 30, 1987 | BY JUAN GONZALEZ
They will be coming to Philadelphia this weekend for their first national convention. Flush with victories, full of their "patriotism" and confident of the future, they come to map out their crusade against the hordes of rebellious immigrants that haunt their nightmares. They come to our city, on the anniversary of the the Constitution, seeking an amendment to the Constitution. The leaders and advisers of their movement include a half-dozen nationally- known figures, people like S.I. Hayakawa, Walter Cronkite, Saul Bellow, Jacques Barzun, Bruno Bettelheim, Angier Biddle Duke, Norman Podhoretz and even Walter Annenberg, former owner of this newspaper.
TRAVEL
May 1, 2016
Answer: French and Haitian Creole. Virtually all of the country's residents speak Haitian Creole, which was named an official language in the 1980s.
NEWS
September 9, 2010
FORTY FORT, Pa. - This Northeastern Pennsylvania borough has rejected a proposal to make English the town's official language. The ordinance would have required borough business to be conducted in English. The Wilkes-Barre Citizens' Voice reported that the Borough Council rejected the proposal by a 5-2 vote Tuesday night. Councilman Dave Williams proposed the ordinance, saying it would save the borough from paying to translate documents if someone made the request. Council President Joe Chacke said the ordinance would send a poor message to residents and invite lawsuits far more expensive than document translation.
NEWS
January 25, 1997 | By Julia K. De Pree
As Americans rightfully debate the potentially explosive issue of an official language, we would do well to ponder where this path might lead us. The current "language war" in Quebec can teach Americans plenty about freedom in their own country. Language has long been a battleground in Quebec, where its use has been legislated in the areas of transportation, education, tourism, and business. A large portion of French-speaking Quebecois is in favor of sovereignty for the province, and voters in 1995 nearly passed a referendum that would begin negotiations toward independence from the Canadian Federation.
NEWS
August 7, 1996 | By Gwynne Dyer
One of the obsessions of current American politics is the fact that more than 10 percent of the population (counting illegal immigrants) has Spanish as a mother tongue. The proportion is far higher in regions along the Mexican border and in south Florida. Bilingualism is bad, so say backers of bill making English the official language that passed the House last week. Supporters raised the specter of the eventual partition of the United States if the tide of Spanish is not stopped.
NEWS
September 19, 2011 | By Michael Matza, Inquirer Staff Writer
  It's a Jeopardy! trick question and a parlor-game stumper: What is the   official   language of the United States? No, it's not English. Nor is it any other tongue. The United States does not have an official language, despite the universality of English and the frequent attempts by congressional conservatives to enthrone it as the sovereign tongue. The individual states? That's a different story. English is the official language in 30 states.
NEWS
October 1, 1995 | By Steven Thomma and Angie Cannon, INQUIRER WASHINGTON BUREAU
When Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole last month joined the call to make English the country's official language, he tapped into a resurgent vein of insecurity about immigrants that has troubled the country since its founding. Americans have periodically worried that immigrants would maintain their own languages and split the United States into a collection of tribes unwilling or unable to communicate. That fear has manifested itself in periodic backlashes, from Benjamin Franklin's warning that immigrants would never learn English, to World War I- era attempts to ban the teaching of German.
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ARTICLES BY DATE
TRAVEL
May 1, 2016
Answer: French and Haitian Creole. Virtually all of the country's residents speak Haitian Creole, which was named an official language in the 1980s.
NEWS
September 25, 2015 | By Angela Couloumbis, Inquirer Harrisburg Bureau
HARRISBURG - Whether English should be the "official" language of Pennsylvania has legislators in the Capitol speaking, well, two different languages. A push is on, again, for a bill that would require state and local governments to conduct all business in English and bar tax dollars from being spent on policies expressing a "preference" for languages other than English. The bill's proponents, many of them conservative legislators, say it will save money while encouraging non-English-speaking immigrants to learn the language, which will help them assimilate and become more successful.
SPORTS
September 27, 2012 | BY TED SILARY, Daily News Staff Writer
THESE DAYS, almost every high school basketball program adds transfers from one season to the next. For the moment, we'll assume a new guy at Archbishop Carroll can lay claim to having traveled the longest distance to reach his new school. Now among the Patriots is Ernest Aflakpui, a 6-8, 190-pound sophomore power forward/center from Accra, the capital of Ghana. One potential problem: Carroll coach Paul Romanczuk said he has a birth certificate, passport and visa showing that Aflakpui is 15 years old and won't turn 16 for 2 months.
NEWS
November 24, 2011 | By Stacey Plaisance, Associated Press
NEW ORLEANS - The wave of Hispanics into the Gulf Coast after Hurricane Katrina doesn't appear to have lessened Louisiana families' demand for their children to get a French education. There's a waiting list at all 29 of the state's public French immersion programs, and this year at least one school - the International School of Louisiana in New Orleans - received more applications for its French program than ever. Demand for Spanish-language education remains strong, both for local use and as a language of inter-American commerce.
NEWS
November 2, 2011 | By Tom Barnes, PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE
HARRISBURG - Even in death, Philadelphia cheesesteak king Joey Vento is causing controversy. On Tuesday, State Rep. Daryl Metcalfe (R., Butler) proposed a resolution honoring Vento, owner of Geno's Steaks in South Philadelphia, who died in August. Vento was perhaps best known for the sign at Geno's that read: "This is America. When ordering, please speak English. " The sign sparked a national controversy in 2006. Metcalfe supports a bill to make English the "official language" of Pennsylvania and considers Vento a hero for his actions.
NEWS
September 21, 2011
Should Pennsylvania join other states that have already made English their official language?
NEWS
September 21, 2011
With all the pressing issues facing Pennsylvania lawmakers, a Republican-led state House committee managed to fritter away several hours on a proposal to make English the state's official language. The legislators assembled last week by panel chairman Rep. Daryl Metcalfe (R., Butler) even spent a moment of silence in memory of the late Joey Vento, who directed that the hungry and huddled masses at his South Philly cheesesteak stand order only in English. Then, things really went downhill.
NEWS
September 19, 2011 | By Michael Matza, Inquirer Staff Writer
  It's a Jeopardy! trick question and a parlor-game stumper: What is the   official   language of the United States? No, it's not English. Nor is it any other tongue. The United States does not have an official language, despite the universality of English and the frequent attempts by congressional conservatives to enthrone it as the sovereign tongue. The individual states? That's a different story. English is the official language in 30 states.
NEWS
September 9, 2010
FORTY FORT, Pa. - This Northeastern Pennsylvania borough has rejected a proposal to make English the town's official language. The ordinance would have required borough business to be conducted in English. The Wilkes-Barre Citizens' Voice reported that the Borough Council rejected the proposal by a 5-2 vote Tuesday night. Councilman Dave Williams proposed the ordinance, saying it would save the borough from paying to translate documents if someone made the request. Council President Joe Chacke said the ordinance would send a poor message to residents and invite lawsuits far more expensive than document translation.
NEWS
August 8, 2008
AFTER reading so much about immigration and language in the U.S., including Robert F. Schaffer's letter "Speak English," I came across a fact that many people (myself included) might not know: Our country has no official language. Everyone here is an immigrant. Even the "native Americans" immigrated from Asia more than 10,000 years ago. Let's realize there is more to life than where we came from. It's more about where we are and where we're going. Martel Fein, Philadelphia
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