Thursday, May 04, 2006

Oh Say Can You Habla Espanol?

President Bush, in what we can only assume is a effortless attempt to increase his tanking poll numbers has recently made the following comment:

“I think the national anthem ought to be sung in English.”

This is a brilliant statement from a man who routinely mispronounces nuclear and once declared how hard it is to put food on your family. Lucky for Bush, the biggest word in our anthem is perilous, a word with which he should be all too familiar.

Of course the assumption Bush is relying on is that most Americans already know English.

Donald Rumsfeld does, right? Here’s an example of his master usage of the English language:

"Reports that say something hasn't happened are interesting to me,
because as we know, there are known unknowns; there're
things we know we know. We also know there are known unknowns; that is to say we know there are some things we do not know. But there are also unknown unknowns -- the ones we don't know we don't know."

There‘s an old British saying by Adam Cooper that goes, "Giving English to an American is like giving sex to a child. He knows it's important but he doesn't know what to do with it."

Well, that much is true. Other than insist that everyone speak it, we really don’t know what else to do with the language we assume we can speak ourselves. Not that we should be able to speak English, which is after all, a foreign language to those of us on this side of the Atlantic.

The English language is for the English. What we speak is 100% pure, unadulterated American. If we spoke English, our bathrooms would be called loos, our cigarettes fags, our diapers nappies, and our hoods bonnets. We’d take holidays and not vacations. We wouldn’t call someone up on the phone. We would ring them. If we knocked someone up, we wouldn’t have to pay child support nine months later. And if, God forbid, we ran out of rubbers, we could find another on the end of the nearest pencil.

It gets even worse locally in Broken Springs, where we designate the verb pop to mean a beverage and where our tennis shoes can be worn to play anything and everything but tennis.

So before we proclaim that our national anthem ought to be sung only in English, might it be wise to specify what deformed dialect of English we actually speak? After all, we wouldn’t want anyone to misunderestimate us.

You Passed the US Citizenship Test

Congratulations - you got 10 out of 10 correct!

1 comment:

Linda M. said...

Oh how I wish I could forward this to every American! Good Job!