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Not Prince Hamlet

"Full of high sentence, but a bit obtuse."

More Politik

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

The Senate passed a resolution (S. Res. 458) saying that the National Anthem should be "recited or sung" in English.

Jim Talent cosponsored it.

Simon Cowell suggested to Elliot Yamin two weeks ago that a song featuring the lyric, "I just want to go home" was a dangerous choice for an American Idol contestant. I wonder what Cowell would think of a sentence that reads, "E pluribus unum," in a resolution arguing for an English-only rendition of the National Anthem.

Political conservatism in the United States has hardened over the last 50 years into something that sees things like language and religion as fixed, immovable entities, as the ludicrous debate over "God" in the Pledge of Allegiance demonstrates ("God" was never in the pledge until the anti-communist period of the 50's). It's the same with the National Anthem. Since 1919, there's been a Spanish language version of it approved by Congress.

And now this measure to calcify its recitation into English only has to draw upon a principle articulated in Latin to drive its point home.

There has never been an "official" language in this country, just like there's never been an "official" religion. That's as it should be.

posted by Not Prince Hamlet, 6:53 AM


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