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But is it English enough?
It looks like Missouri has gotten embroiled in one of those pivotal legislative moments when we get to decide whether English is our official language. Turning from less pressing issues such as the financial crises and the war in Iraq, we voters can now focus on more substantive issues such as language at official meetings.
But maybe the proposal doesn't go far enough?
If these are official meetings at which English should be enforced as the official language, should we not also insist that the English itself be official? I wonder if text or comments could be stricken from the records, should the grammar, syntax, and phraseology not jive with "official" English.
One could argue that the language in which we speak and write is a language that is different from official English. I really doubt that any meetings are, or have ever been, conducted in official English.
In addition to bailiffs and other armed personnel to guard a courtroom from improper conduct, perhaps our courts should also include a court grammarian, armed with a dictionary, thesaurus, and a pen (which is, after all, mightier than the sword anyway). His or her job would be to enforce the official language of English on all who speak or write in court.
Can objections be offered by counsel on the basis of poor sentence structure, subject/verb disagreement, and split infinitives? Could appeals be based on pronoun problems (who or whom), and can a judge initiate a "which" hunt to replace erroneous "whiches" with "thats"?
Perhaps this proposition is something up with which we should not put.
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