Total Drek

Or, the thoughts of several frustrated intellectuals on Sociology, Gaming, Science, Politics, Science Fiction, Religion, and whatever the hell else strikes their fancy. There is absolutely no reason why you should read this blog. None. Seriously. Go hit your back button. It's up in the upper left-hand corner of your browser... it says "Back." Don't say we didn't warn you.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Learn English or Die

So I've lived in Florida for a while and I've noticed that more and more people I meet do not speak English. This is different from they speak something other than English. What I mean is that they are unable to effectively communicate in the English language. This becomes a problem. A few weeks ago I went to a CVS to have some pictures developed into wallet size prints. The photo technician seemed to not understand me so I switched to Spanish. Now that she received the message, she was still unable to print the photos. The difficulty now was in setting the machine. I've never worked in a photo development lab, but I suspect that printing wallet size photos is a fairly basic operation.

That is a fairly minor event compared with what inspired this rant. In most states you can apply for a license to carry a concealed weapon. Someone lost hers when her purse was stolen and asked me what to do about it. I responded that she needed to get a replacement issued. This was totally not understood. I found the phone number to call, wrote it down, and handed it to her. Blank stare. I mimed it with a phone and my best Charades skills. Small nod. I'm still not convinced she got it. So the State has licensed someone who can't communicate with most of us to walk around with a gun. In general I'm in favor of an armed population, but this is just insane. If a police officer arrives at a scene where she is holding a gun how is he supposed to determine if she is one of the good guys? This seems fairly serious. Similar difficulties are happening in other places too. At least the medical field is prepared for the inevitable outcome.

So I think you do yourself and your family harm by not learning the language most people around you speak. I'm not the only one. Even Canada says you should learn French if you're going to settle in Quebec. Given some responses in this country, I can only imagine the riots that would follow similar language on a US web site.


Blogger TDEC said...

Yeeees. I've experienced this too, both in the US and the UK. I used to think that it had to be my Weird Foreigner English until one of my British friends suggested that it was more likely to be a lack of vocabulary on the behalf of the Brit in question. I'll never understand. Here you are with the biggest language on the planet, and half the people not bothering to use it. Weird.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006 10:59:00 AM  

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