Fear and Loathing In The U.S.A.

Fear and Loathing

It’s seems to be a long standing tradition here in the good ol’ U.S. of A. to whine and complain not only about pressing “one” for English, but about people from other countries learning to speak English.

Well, let me tell you something…

Let’s address the “press one for English” issue first.

I overhear it in discussions, read about it on social media sites and you might be surprised to learn that I agree! Here in the United States of America, we should not have to press ANY button to be spoken to in our own language, however, this is where things begin to get muddled. You may not realize it, but if you have to press one, chances are that you are not connected to anyone in the Unites States!

Here is the problem, most people are whining and complaining about the wrong people. Criticizing the person on the other end of the line instead of pointing the finger of blame where it really belongs. Big corporations here in the U.S. are allowed to farm out work in other countries. They will tell you that it’s good for business, the economy, and “foreign relations” which is in reality only double speak for legal tax evasion and paying lower wages.

So, if you are an honest person, you can see that it’s not quite right to blame the person on the other end of the line. They have to work just like we do. Thinking badly about someone because they accept a needed job provided by any company is ridiculous.There are many countries that do business here in the United States. Should people in these other countries be upset at Americans that accept jobs offered here? No, perhaps they should be upset at the companies that do so, perhaps not, Instead, point your finger at the corporations providing the jobs overseas rather than offering them here in the United States. Oh, and let us not forget the government that allows them to do so!

Watch Your Language!

Think about this. English is a language which is often not read in the way it is written. In writing we use 26 letters 5 of which are vowels and the other 11, consonants. In speaking you need to know 44 basic sounds, which turn out to be a combination of 20 vowel sounds which consist of the 5 written vowels and 15 different vowel combinations, 15 consonant sounds and 9 “silent” consonants. Confused yet? Wait, there’s more…

How about all the words that sound the same but have very different meanings?

“They’re required to slip their pay slips in the slot over there.”

If you speak English well, to you the above is just a normal sentence you might hear anywhere. No slang, no double entendre, just a sentence. If English isn’t your native language and you are learning, how long do you think it would take you to make sense of it?

I walked by a group of people all speaking a language I don’t know. A guy standing there said something along the lines of “This is America, they should speak English.”

For a moment, I actually agreed, but then I thought, “wait a minute. They aren’t speaking to me, or this guy. They’re speaking to people who understand them. So why should they speak English? Are we afraid of something? Are we so self-important that it has gotten to the point that we are paranoid they might be talking about us in a language we don’t understand?”

Well, yes. I think many of us are. We humans have an odd tendency when it comes to things we don’t understand. We tend to want to make it go away at any cost. We fear it. Some would say hate, but some say hate is simply an extension of fear. Who knew?

My experience in trying to understand people who do not speak English well has been a learning experience for me. You really can tell when someone is trying to learn our language and communicate with us the best they can. You can also tell who doesn’t care and then gets angry at you because you can’t understand them.

I guess what I am getting at is this:

How about we try to be a little bit more patient with and less judgmental toward those who do not speak our language well? It’s easy for us to follow the sometime ridiculous rules of our language. After all, we helped create them!

Sapere Aude

Sapere Aude

Just some guy. Somewhere. Doing some things.

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