Tall, Grande, or Venti?
The Senate on Thursday voted to make English the "national language" of the United States. Moments later, they approved a competing amendment making it the country’s “common and unifying language.” While the Senate figures out what really will end up in the immigration bill, we’ve asked correspondent Mike Taibbi tonight to find out what this means to a nation that’s always seen itself as a cultural melting pot.
But it does give us pause to wonder: If the Congress succeeds in making this an English-only nation, perhaps they should start on Capitol Hill and see how it goes first. They’ll have to begin with the nation’s motto: “E Pluribus Unum.” That would be Latin, and means “One from Many.” Senators, if you all pitch in on weekends, it should not take long to redo all those government office buildings, and then the country's currency.
No longer will the “President Pro Tempore” preside over the Senate. You’re just President for the Time Being. Senators & Representatives: no more “adjournment sine die.” No more participating “ex officio” at hearings. You’ll have to redo your “agenda.” That’s Latin for “things that have to be done.” No more giving the other side of the aisle an “ultimatum.” Definitely no more going “mano a mano.” That’s “verboten.”
Try to get through a hearing without the use of a “subpoena” or “habeas corpus” or, gasp, “per capita.” No more “ad hoc” Senate committees. Goodbye “quid pro quo”. Typically, most elected officials don’t make much use of the phrase “mea culpa” anyway, so that one should be easy. Please make an effort not to use “vice versa,” “versus,” “status quo,” “post mortem,” or “ad nauseam” in your next press conference.
When you go out for lunch on the Hill, please don’t ask for the “maitre d'.” And you’ll have to dine on something besides “nouvelle cuisine,” “sangria,” “salsa,” “tacos,” “burritos,” “hamburgers” or “pasta.”
But let’s not stop there. No more “Semper Fi” for the U.S. Marine Corps, or “Semper Paratus” for the U.S. Coast Guard. You folks are just going to have to be “Always Faithful” and “Always Ready,” in English.
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