He’s the ‘Speak English Guy’

I guess we’re calling this individual the “Speak English Guy.”

It seems he wants everyone around to speak English. He has gone on rants in public, berating those who speak another language.

He has been heard to bellow, “This is America” as a way to, um, persuade those who speak another language to communicate in English.

Hold on here! What’s this guy trying to say?

The U.S. of A. does not have an official language. Yes, the U.S. Constitution is written in English, as is the Declaration of Independence. The Federalist Papers are in written in English. President Lincoln delivered his Gettysburg Address in English, and issued the Emancipation Proclamation in the same language.

Yes, this is America, as the Speak English Guy points out. Except that America represents people from around the globe. They all come here fluent first in the language of their country of origin.

I cannot help at this moment but think of my parents. They were born in the United States; Mom was born in Portland, Ore., Dad was born in New Kensington, Pa. Their parents — all of them — were from Greece and Turkey. They all were ethnic Greeks.

My grandparents spoke Greek in their homes. English, therefore, was a “second language” to my parents. Dad once told me how he ran home crying from kindergarten because he didn’t understand what everyone was saying in the classroom.

Well, Mom and Dad learned how to speak English. Their English language skills were impeccable; Mom was especially articulate in her English-speaking skills.

But they continued to converse with each other in Greek. They both were fluent in both their languages.

I wonder what might happen if Speak English Guy would have heard Mom and Dad speaking Greek to each other. My best guess in the event this guy decided to upbraid them because they weren’t speaking English: Dad would have cold-cocked that clown.

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