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[Susan notes: Kudos. Humor is always a plus, especially when taking on such a contentious topic.]

Published in USA Today

To the editor

Speaking English

For 230 years, the USA has survived without an

official language. Mastery of proper English would

surely enhance any immigrant's experience in our

society, but it should not be required.

In our great nation, even an obtuse person with

rudimentary English language skills can become


Tim Pfeifer

Long Beach, Calif.

By all means, let's enact a law that declares English

the official language of the USA. In several states,

marriage has already been officially declared as being

between a man and a woman. As a society, we can enact

more laws to discourage diversity and individuality

and, in the process, leave some minorities further


While we're at it, let's declare baseball as the

official U.S. pastime; forget that many prefer

football or basketball, and even a small minority

favor lacrosse. And let's ignore the evidence that

many people just "knew" at an early age that they

liked to swim or were born to run.

We could declare apple as the official American pie

flavor, flaunting it in the face of those who enjoy

pecan, cherry or even rhubarb.

We could even declare American Idol as the official

U.S. television show, thus alienating those who might

prefer Desperate Housewives, Lost or CSI as well as

those people with viewing habits that barely register

on the Nielsen ratings scale. Idol seems most

appropriate, given the show's enormous popularity,

which galvanizes the masses to actually vote and on

a weekly basis.

We can continue to enact such laws, thus rewarding and

formalizing conformity as our nation's premium ideal.

James J. Peters


multiple authors

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