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Email Henry Platt
Email L. Henry Platt, Jr.
  Henry Platt


Do you speak French? Do you speak Chinese? Do you speak Sioux?

Today I received a paper letter through the United States Postal Service telling me that some members of Congress are trying to pass legislation forever forbidding the designation of (American) English as our Official Language. I support making American English the official language of the United States of America, and that is probably why I was chosen to receive this letter.

I do not object to allowing some banks to offer their customers choices of several languages to access their teller machines. I even applaud the decision of the Department of Motor Vehicles in the state of Connecticut to offer written examinations for regular, personal drivers' licenses in several languages of the applicant's choice. This allows honest evaluations of driving knowledge in the USA.

I heard a story of an employer who abused his employees by making many benefits available only to those employees who spoke a certain (non-English) language. By making American English the official language of the United States of America, this form of abuse can be more easily avoided.

Remember the tower of Babel.

If Congress were to pass legislation to deny Americans their common language, we would all pay a higher price to try to understand one another. Remember, one of the reasons that almost all of us speak English today is that after Captain John Smith learned to greet Pocahontas in her native tongue, she learned to speak English better than most of the women in London.

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© L. Henry Platt, Jr.