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Official Language

The vote in Quebec on secession from Canada should stand as a clear warning to Americans about the threat that bilingualism poses to unity in the United States, House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.) said Monday. "Allowing bilingualism to continue to grow is very dangerous," Gingrich said after addressing a technology and business forum at Georgia Tech in Atlanta. "We should insist on English as a common language. . . . That's what binds us together."
August 17, 2012 | By Carla Hall
In big cities, altering zoning regulations is like trying to change the official language. But in the town of North Haven, Conn., a rabbit has managed to, um, jumpstart the process in remarkable time. Late last month,  Sandy, a Flemish Giant rabbit weighing in at 20 pounds -- not an atypical girth for this breed -- and owner Joshua Lidsky and family were sent a letter from a zoning officer informing them that rabbits and livestock could not be kept on property, such as theirs, that measured less than two acres.  But what started as a local dust-up between a local resident and town officials turned into a viral tale of furry heartbreak, with TV news footage of the languid lapin being cuddled by Lidsky's doting 7-year-old daughter, Kayden, going national and the North Haven Town Hall barraged with calls and emails in support of the rabbit.
November 1, 1986
Trombley's article addressed the sociological issue of making English our official language very well. However, it failed to address the administrative issue. If we make English our official language, we then create the need to have a language official. After all, how can we have an official language without having some bureaucrat to define for us what is officially part of English and what is not? This, of course, creates a new problem because bureaucrats seem to wreak the greatest damage to our unofficial language.
March 24, 2012 | By Michael Finnegan
As Republicans in Louisiana were voting Saturday in a contest that looked to be tilting his way, Rick Santorum skipped ahead to Wisconsin for an upcoming primary that stands as a more important test of his viability as a contender for the party's presidential nomination. Wisconsin's April 3 contest offers Santorum a chance to break the pattern set by Romney and his allies in Michigan, Ohio and Illinois. In each state, they buried Santorum's insurgent campaign with an onslaught of attack ads. The Romney machinery is already fully engaged in Wisconsin, airing ads from Milwaukee and Green Bay on Lake Michigan to La Crosse on the upper Mississippi River.
July 3, 1989 | From Associated Press
The Supreme Court today rejected appeals by Latinos challenging Florida's designation of English as the state's official language. The court, without comment, let stand a ruling that an election giving official-language status to English did not violate the federal Voting Rights Act. Florida voters last Nov. 8 approved the proposal by an 84% to 16% margin. The initiative amended the state Constitution and left it up to the Florida Legislature to implement the change.
March 15, 2012 | By Maeve Reston
Republican presidential contender Rick Santorum said Thursday that his views on the official language of Puerto Rico had been mischaracterized in a local interview here. The Associated Press reported Wednesday that Santorum had told the San Juan newspaper El Vocero that “English has to be the main language” if Puerto Rico were to become a state. Currently the territory has two official languages: English and Spanish. During a brief chat with reporters at a hotel in San Juan on Thursday afternoon, Santorum said the reports that he had said Puerto Rico would have to change its official language to English were “completely inaccurate.” Clarifying his views on the topic, the former senator from Pennsylvania said that if Puerto Rican voters were to win statehood - a referendum to gage support for such a move is scheduled for later this year - English should be the “preferred” language, but he said he would not insist that the island change its official language to English alone.
February 11, 2012
It began as a local story. Citing a state law requiring public officials to know English, a judge in Arizona ruled that city council candidate Alejandrina Cabrera should be barred from seeking public office because of her limited English skills. But the controversy over Cabrera's eligibility has reverberated nationally, stoking the debate over whether Spanish-speaking immigrants — and Spanish-speaking U.S. citizens such as Cabrera — are too slow to assimilate. That question is entwined with an issue that has surfaced in the Republican presidential campaign: whether English should be declared the official language of the United States.
June 18, 2011 | By Borzou Daragahi, Los Angeles Times
Attempting to stave off democratic demands sweeping the Arab world, Morocco's King Mohammed VI unveiled a draft constitution that includes major reforms to strengthen the role of the elected government, apparently strip him of some powers, and enshrine equality of the sexes and civil liberties in a country with a dark history of human rights abuses. But under the proposed constitution, to be voted on by the nation in a July 1 referendum, the king would retain the power to approve Cabinet appointments, as well as maintain authority over the security apparatus, army and key religious posts.
February 9, 2011
For years it was a bogeyman for those discomfited by immigration, particularly from Mexico: The United States was evolving into two nations, only one of which would speak English. If it was ever true, which is doubtful, it isn't now. A 2007 report by the Pew Foundation found that, though only 23% of Latino immigrants spoke English very well, the figure rose to 88% for their adult children and 94% in the third generation. Time is the ally of assimilation, not segregation. That hasn't stopped the anxiety about non-English speakers, reflected in the applause Republican presidential candidate Tom Tancredo received during the 2008 campaign when he complained about having to "press 1 for English.
May 4, 2008 | Barry Hatton, Associated Press
Portugal's former empire is striking back -- through language. As Brazil rises on the international stage and its onetime colonial master wanes, a proposed standardization of the Portuguese language would require hundreds of words to be spelled the Brazilian way. The Portuguese government approves, but some here are mortified. "There is no need for us to take a back seat to Brazil," protested Vasco Graca Moura, a respected poet against the proposal. For a once-mighty power whose tongue is an official language for 230 million people worldwide, it's a blow to pride comparable to making the British adopt American spelling -- "honor," for instance, instead of "honour."
October 20, 2005 | Emma Vaughn, Times Staff Writer
Despite slight gains in math scores, California fourth- and eighth-grade students rank among the lowest nationally in mathematics and reading, test results released Wednesday showed. With 40% of students below the basic proficiency level, California eighth-graders' reading scores are the third-lowest in the nation after Hawaii and the District of Columbia. The results are from the 2005 National Assessment of Educational Progress, which bills itself as "the nation's report card."
April 17, 2005 | From Times Wire Reports
West Virginia Gov. Joe Manchin vetoed a bill that would have made English the state's official language -- not because he didn't like the idea, but because the legislation had a technical flaw. Manchin, who had cosponsored unsuccessful English-only bills when he was a lawmaker, cited the state constitution, which limits each piece of legislation to one topic.
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