It's Time To Declare English The Official Language

1348 words - 5 pages

It's Time to Declare English the Official Language

"In no way would having English as the official language intrude
upon anyone's private life, business, or day-to-day living. Official
English applies only to the conduct of government business."
-S.I. Hayakawa

America today is a melting pot of different societies. Everywhere, in every city and in every state, there are Germantowns, and Chinatowns, and Greektowns. America has certainly developed into one big multicultural society. With the many different cultures, come the many different languages as well. When a person imagines the language of the United States, naturally most believe that English is the national language. America, however, does not have an official language. According to the Center of Immigration Studies, more than 300 languages are currently spoken in the United States (U.S. Bureau of the Census). Immigration in the United States is a positive event that cannot be altered no matter what actions are taken against it. Immigration, in fact, has many positive influences upon this great nation. With the positive effects on this country also come the harmful effects. If America wants to continue to live harmoniously with the multitude of different cultures, the first step would be to make English the official language of the United States of America.

Today, 1.9 billion people speak the English language; more than one-third of humanity (U.S. Bureau of the Census). English is also the national language of many countries- countries with a multiple of different cultures- including India and several populous countries in Africa. People in those countries use English to conduct common and official business, but they continue to speak many different languages as well. It seems ironic that the United States, the land almost synonymous with English, does not have it as its official language. In those countries, the people still have their own unique backgrounds, and still manage to preserve their own culture. Declaring English the national language would not create a momentous disaster. In fact, according to a recent study provided by the Center for Immigration Studies, fourteen percent of Americans speak a language other than English at home. However, ninety-eight percent of Americans declared that they could speak English “very well” or “well.” The Unites States has tried to declare English the national language before. On August 1, 1996, the House of Representatives voted 259-169 to declare English the official language (Baustein and Epstein). The Senate, however, never acted upon the bill. The states themselves have taken action. Currently, twenty-two states have declared English their official language. Those states still use other languages when necessary.

Declaring English the national language would also save the country money. Since the United States does not have an official language, it is...

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