One Language One Nation

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English1301 Jrly 1,2007


One L&nguaggOne Nation


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Robert Kingis rheauthorofthe shot article"shouldtsnglish the Law?"thatllrst appearcd Be in in lqg7. He servedasdeanof Liberal Afls ar the University of Texasat Austin.

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The pie€eis aboutthe controvemy ovff makingEnglish the nationallanguage. ThoughKing believes ofthe U.S. will cieatepolitical upheavals believeswe and that makingErylish the official language his needto be tolerantof our language differences, pieceis rmconvincing.He acknowledges fact that the America is a country foundedby immigrantswilling to give up their homecountryto unite and form one the of the greatest natiors in the world, but doesnot undemtand nationaldisunity that would be created and and by irlmigrants comingto the United States promoting their own languages cultues ratherthan the Americanculture asa whole. n "d0t w\P d\ " King's essaybrings up importantquestions the conversation in aboutidenlity-national identity




it. andwhat constituies He startshis pieceby issuinga definition ofa "languageriot"-a war about 6$ " Jddr/-../r\ | 6fo 5 ()J / u1tt|"words wor(rs lndr na beenong,orrrgur our couxuy sxrcc rls beginning(rzvr. He usesa historic ;llusion when that hasoccr ongoing in our country sinceits uctsrx rts(429). ns uscs I -----: -r^f \-=-5u . J ' ',,' J )r \ -\(^r he rcfer€nces debate Congessin 1996concemingmaking English the olficial language in a ofthe )6.N f i' -



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He over language the in United States. qg@s manyofthe foundingl'athersabouttheir concems fledgling nation (430). For the remainderofhis piece,King continuesto usea(foo* to potitics, to


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and history, laws, bills in Congress, the policies ofother countries,aUto createa sense od#if,iiry


2 Former Student showthat he knowsthis subjectwell andhasdonequite a bit ofresearchto back up his opinions.To a.u:ltot9 ParPsz lusos is createhis theSis, King usesa simile to saythat "la.nguage a slmbol, an icon," akin to the American but do flag or a mardagelicense(430).It standsfor something, differcncesin language not, accordingto ( dr., s with a rhetoricalquestionwhenhe asks, King, "threatenAmedcanunity" (432).He solidifies his stance 1r,..{h* we tolerance?"(436). King b.elidves canbe different andunited at the "ls thereno hopefor language that thanresling only on a conunon language. "unigueothemess" the same time.KiDgbelieves rather of depends more on a plethomofother things,big and small (433). King the United States peopleunited by everythingfrom hot dogsandautomobiles respectfor the to nationalunity. He sees that thereis something different aboutthe United Sates, that differenceis and individual. King argues He that Americanscan"relax andluxuriate in our moretian a legislatedcommonlanguage. argues and linguistic richness traditionaltoleranceoflanguagedifferences"(429). Accordingto King, America is a country madeup ofmany inmigants, so we needto tolemteour differencesbecause ofthe very will not threaten natuleofour country-because differencesarewhat we axenade of. Language Americanis united in otherways besides language. Americanunity because , N^ .Ki. King is right that Americansneedto be tolerantofeach other's individual backgrounds. -|,,!t'^g$ Th. J"

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bX # but what K!qe!qS!a:U4s$!and is that the expedmentwill fail without unity. lb be clear,this debate


\o \. givingupfieir native languages. a recenr As imrniprzmt mrselffromNigeria. immigrants t l-;ti?F i. noruUorr Lrya



is to and amongst families. Nearlyail belierethatethicheritage something becelebrated heasured


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