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GRH
03-08-2006, 09:52 AM
In the early days most people who came here from non-english speaking countries tried to learn our language and customs so as to blend in.
The exception being "Lawrence Welk" anda 1 anda 2 etc. also thank you Bobby and Chrissy.
I think he actually was born here.

Graeme

Kansas_Farmer
03-08-2006, 10:13 AM
Welk was born here....North Dakota. I had the pleasure of drivin past his old place sometime last year. It's a fairly nice sized spread I thought.

GregC
03-08-2006, 10:20 AM
Why blend in and become part of the US? That implies obligation and responsibility. It's easier to just milk what you can, contribute as little as possible, and mail your funds back home to whatever Third World country you crawled out of.

That way you get the best of both worlds -you get all the benefits of the USA and you can still sit back and confide in those close to you that whatever crap-hole your people are from is better.

Mass communication, mass transportation, and weak borders have all but crippled our country.

Evan
03-08-2006, 10:46 AM
Is this about English or the sorry state of the US economy? Language is most certainly not to blame. Canada is officially bilingual and the reality is that in some areas the majority speak some language other than English. The city of Richmond has a majority of asians and the dominant language there is Mandarin. The Canadian economy is booming.

As I said on the Lowes thread I will point out that "English" is a polyglot language. It is a combination of Friesian, French, German, Latin and a smattering of many other languages. Learning it is extremely difficult for many as it has nonsensical "rules" that have more exceptions than applications.

Most native English speakers don't have a full command of the language, never mind those who must learn it as a second language.

[This message has been edited by Evan (edited 03-08-2006).]

Evan
03-08-2006, 10:48 AM
"Mass communication, mass transportation, and weak borders have all but crippled our country."

Funny, that is precisely what led to the dissolution of the Soviet Union. Totalitarian governments have the most to fear from exactly those three things. A free country has nothing to fear from those freedoms.

[This message has been edited by Evan (edited 03-08-2006).]

J Tiers
03-08-2006, 01:32 PM
A free country has nothing to fear except the tendency of ALL people to become "tribal".

We need "us's" and "them's". It's how we work.

Whatever strength the US has had, has been the ability to take in all sorts of "them's" and turn them all into "us's".

There are exceptions, people who decide to go the other way and be "them's", Evan evidently being one such...

But in general it has worked very well, given a stock of folks who really weren't that different to begin with... Europeans, in general, from places spread across from Eire to east europe. And, now including people from other continents and races, more-or-less successfully.

What "diversity" does in effect is say that it's OK to live here but be a complete non-participant in the larger society. And, that IS how its set up, however non-helpful that may be.

It is even perfectly acceptable to use all the benefits while actually actively HATING the larger society as you hate your deadly enemy. Hating its members, its customs, its premises, hating everything except the freedom to go on collecting money and hating....

As soon as you allow (and I mean not legally, but socially) people to come here, but then to actively, agressively, and defiantly remain "them's" , you start to split up the society into tribes. That begets tribal warfare, open or covert.

The premise of coming here is that you see this society as better than where you were. It makes little sense to come here and then hate us, working against us, and trying to re-mold it overnight into what you and your minority want, seeking to force the larger society to conform to YOUR standards.

One would have to call such people enemies. They are "moles" from some ill-defined "other side", seeking to USE the freedoms here to EXTINGUISH the freedoms here.

Read socio-legal philosophy, and you begin to understand what the implied social contract is...

Over time society does change. Maybe not for the better.... matter of opinion. But it is slow, and rightly so.

What dislocates societies is a large number of non-members coming in and demanding to be accorded the rights of the group, without recognizing the right of the group to exist as a group, and without conforming even nominally to the group standards.

Like it or not, there are group standards. Most all immigrants have conformed at least nominally, perhaps more easily since they were in general from similar societies.

With large numbers of folks from quite different societies coming in, seeking to impose sharia law or whatever, there is a problem which is best solved by the newcomers making a hard decision as to whether they want to stay and nominally conform, or leave again.

Rights? Schmights! Your rights are dependent on your willingness to allow others the rights they allow you. That is how a society operates, whether that is encoded in a "constitution" or not.





[This message has been edited by J Tiers (edited 03-08-2006).]

paulgrandy
03-08-2006, 02:15 PM
I know these foreign phrases. Not sure how to spell them though.

Hable Espanole
Spreken Z Doitch
Parle Vu France'

I use them everytime I answer my door and a solicitor is there. They just think I'm some dumb foreigner and leave.

railfancwb
03-08-2006, 02:28 PM
Bet that wouldn't work with phone solicitors, Paul... More and more of them don't speak English with an accent I can understand, anyway. Charles

Leigh
03-08-2006, 03:05 PM
In the 200+ year history of our Republic we've taken in people from every country and ethnic group on the planet. And we've assimilated all of them into US society. They've given us their culture, and they've become part of ours.

This can only happen through communication. The great binding force of the US is English. Every person who has come to this country has tried to learn English. It's a difficult language, to be sure. But it's much more tolerant of errors in pronunciation, syntax, and grammar than many other languages. So those who wish to communiate in English can do so, though some will become more proficient than others.

This has worked until recently, when a vocal minority has invaded the US from the south, bringing with them only a taste for US Dollars and social services. They have no desire to be part of American society. Rather they choose to turn the US into a suburb of Mexico City or San Salvador or Tegucigalpa.

If they want to be part of the US and participate fully and legally in American culture, they're certainly welcome. If not, send 'em back home http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//eek.gif

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Leigh W3NLB

[This message has been edited by Leigh (edited 03-08-2006).]

[This message has been edited by Leigh (edited 03-08-2006).]

Leigh
03-08-2006, 03:07 PM
The problem with "Parlez vous Francais?", "Sprechen Sie Deutsch?" and similar is that the person on the other end may well answer in the affirmative. Then what do you do?

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Leigh W3NLB

tonydacrow
03-08-2006, 03:23 PM
Sorry state of the US economy? The US economy is doing just fine. Where do you get the idea it isn't?

m_kilde
03-08-2006, 03:38 PM
Bump
Did a dump non english speaking, spell this correct ?

m_kilde

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Mogens Kilde
www.wallenderengineering.com

Mcgyver
03-08-2006, 03:46 PM
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by J Tiers:
A free country has nothing to fear except the tendency of ALL people to become "tribal".

We need "us's" and "them's". It's how we work.
</font>


JT, for the most part i agree with what you say, but you touched on an interesting subject, the tribal nature of man.

I disagree the we need us and thems, it’s the root of a lot of evil and we're not adept at avoiding it. Certainly human nature drifts towards the us and them behavior. its a tribal legacy that makes groups of people so easily manipulated. Whether through political leaders or religious leaders, it’s the easiest lever of manipulation to pull. Look at Quebec, in the face of overwhelming information on what an economic disaster separation would bring, it’s the foremost political issue in the province because of leadership uttering… “we are a people”. What a perfect example of the manipulation possible through pride and the tribal nature of man!

As soon as feel yourself slipping into thinking about us and them, you begin to adopt 'group think' and forgo rational free choice and decision making. The pump is primed for manipulated – for someone to induce behavior out of that otherwise wouldn’t happen. from racial prejudices, fans of opposing teams needing to duke it out in the parking lot, to countries sending their young men across the globe to kill perfect strangers, inducing these behaviors requires a manipulation most of which comes from 'us an them' leverage.

I agree that the tribal nature of man runs deep but its mankind’s greatest challenge. Is a weakness easily exploited not a need. The great irony is when we think we’ve got it right, it’s only a problem of the ‘thems’!

Leigh
03-08-2006, 04:26 PM
I think our tendency toward tribalism is merely a manifestation of our deep-seated fear of the unknown. As long as our associates share our common cultural heritage, we feel comfortable. But bring in someone with a different background and we suddenly feel endangered.

The solution is to learn about other people and their cultures. But to do this requires a common language. So we're back to the English topic.

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Leigh W3NLB

GregC
03-08-2006, 05:53 PM
Evan, you sound like a 22 year old armchair intellectual. Regardless of what mass transportation, mass communication, and weak borders did for the USSR, in OUR CASE it is ruining our country. Chew on that a bit.

Quit making excuses for those who are too lazy to learn English. No one said they had to speak perfect English - but thinking they can get by only speaking Mexican doesn't hack it.

Evan
03-08-2006, 06:22 PM
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">
Evan, you sound like a 22 year old armchair intellectual. Regardless of what mass transportation, mass communication, and weak borders did for the USSR, in OUR CASE it is ruining our country. Chew on that a bit.

Quit making excuses for those who are too lazy to learn English. No one said they had to speak perfect English - but thinking they can get by only speaking Mexican doesn't hack it.
</font>

Sounds like the same old isolationist rhetoric. Hunker down in Fortress America! Keep out all the bad influences and we'll be just fine. Well, maybe except for the fact that nobody born in the USA really wants a job picking fruit or picking up garbage or washing dishes. And, except for the fact that the USA simply cannot support itself independent of the rest of the planet.

Closing the borders and restricting travel is exactly what totalitarian regimes do first. Restricting communication is also top of the list. Is that the sort of society you want to live in? Why not move to North Korea then?

The issue of language being discussed here is not the problem, it is a symptom of the problem. You want everyone you meet to look like you, think like you and especially, talk like you. It isn't going to happen. I'll bet that most spanish speakers you meet can speak more english than you speak spanish.

Why is it that so many US citizens think english is the only language worth speaking? It seems quite out of place for a country founded by immigrants from all over the world, most of whom did not speak english as their native tounge.

I think everyone should learn to speak at least two languages or more. That includes new immigrants to the US as well as the present population. It has a tendency to open your eyes to the differences in other cultures and fosters tolerance of those who seem different from you.

I personally speak English, Danish, German and some French as well as bit and pieces of several other languages.

TECHSHOP
03-08-2006, 07:18 PM
I am grateful that I am not as judgmental as all those censorioius, self-righteous people around me.



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Today I will gladly share my experience and advice, for there no sweeter words than "I told you so."

Leigh
03-08-2006, 07:59 PM
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Evan:
...Sounds like the same old isolationist rhetoric. Hunker down in Fortress America! Keep out all the bad influences and we'll be just fine.
...Closing the borders and restricting travel is exactly what totalitarian regimes do first.
...Why is it that so many US citizens think english is the only language worth speaking?
...I personally speak English, Danish, German and some French as well as bit and pieces of several other languages.</font>

Evan,

You're creating statements to rebut. This is nonsense.

Nobody's talking about closing the borders.

And nobody said English was the only language worth speaking. But it's the language of the USA. In Germany they speak German, likewise Italian in Italy and Chinese in China.

And I speak German, Polish, a bit of Russian and a couple of others sort of. So what? That's not the point of the discussion.

I have said and will say again that anyone who moves to this country and expects to live here should learn English. It's the only way they can participate in the culture of the country. Trying to conver the US into a central-American third-world culture won't work.

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Leigh W3NLB

Evan
03-08-2006, 08:07 PM
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">
Evan,

You're creating statements to rebut. This is nonsense.

Nobody's talking about closing the borders.

And nobody said English was the only language worth speaking. But it's the language of the USA. In Germany they speak German, likewise Italian in Italy and Chinese in China.
</font>

I'm creating them???

<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">
Mass communication, mass transportation, and weak borders have all but crippled our country.</font>


As for languages in Europe it is commonplace for Europeans to speak at least two languages and frequently more. Try Denmark for example, everyone there speaks Danish and English, even a bum on the street. Germans speak German and often English as well as French. This is not the exception except in the US.

As for chinese, there is no such language. The official language is Mandarin and many speak Cantonese as well along with hundreds of mutually unintelligible dialects.

Evan
03-08-2006, 08:57 PM
As an additional item, the USA is contemplating requiring passports for everyone that enters the US, including Canadians. While you may know about that you probably don't know that it will also apply to all US citizens including myself. In particular, since I am a US citizen it is now illegal for me to fly to a US destination and present any passport other than a US passport even though I am also a Canadian citizen.

The border is defacto closed to me, as least by air, as the only way I can obtain a current US passport is to travel 1000 miles to the nearest US consulate as it must be obtained in person if outside the US.


<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">
The requirement of a passport for US citizens to re-enter the USA, treating citizens no different from any other alien entering the country, is seen by few as a leveling of the international playing field, but an attempt to keep more US citizens from leaving the country, and allowing fewer visitors into the country for vacation or to conduct business. Considering that less than 25% of the American citizens carry a passport, this requirement keeps the remaining 75% of the citizens from going beyond the political boundaries of their own country.

http://gocanada.about.com/od/bordercrossing/a/e_passports.htm
</font>

I suspect this isn't well publicized in the US.

chief
03-08-2006, 09:15 PM
Evan,
Why can't you decide which you want to be?
Sounds like you want to have it both ways.

GregC
03-08-2006, 09:18 PM
Hey everyone, Evan is a multi-culturalist!

He'll eat the mussels in New York if he must, but he prefers them in the Prague. And say what you will, the wine in France is still the best.

He quietly wonders why Americans enjoy football when the rest of the world know soccer is the real futbol and rugby players are far tougher - they lose more testicles per year to their game.

He knows phrases in German that are quite profound, but unfortunately there's no accurate translation and even if there were you wouldn't be able to grasp it.

He prefers public transportation whenever possible, and if he must drive his own vehicle he eschews SUVs in favor of Japanese hybrids.

He speaks English when in mixed company but can't help sprinkle in phrases in French and Spanish just to let everyone know he's real smarter.

But what you really need to know about Evan is someday his grandchildren will be living in New Beijing (formerly known as Massachusetts) and polishing the boots of someone named Mr. Wu.

Leigh
03-08-2006, 09:26 PM
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Evan:
Try Denmark for example, everyone there speaks Danish and English, even a bum on the street. Germans speak German and often English</font>

But Evan...

You were just lamenting how difficult English is. Is that why everyone in Europe speaks it? You really should get your stories straight.

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Leigh W3NLB

Leigh
03-08-2006, 09:36 PM
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Evan:
...As for chinese, there is no such language. The official language is Mandarin and many speak Cantonese as well along with hundreds of mutually unintelligible dialects. </font>

While that is true for the spoken dialects, it is definitely not true of the written language, which is intelligible throughout China courtesy of Emperor Shihuangdi over 2000 years ago.

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Leigh W3NLB

Artpro
03-08-2006, 09:49 PM
Hey ya'll. "The Home Shop MAchinist"!!
Anyone turn on a drill today?

Leigh
03-08-2006, 10:16 PM
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Artpro:
Hey ya'll. "The Home Shop MAchinist"!!
Anyone turn on a drill today?</font>

Nope. But I ran the mill for a while http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//biggrin.gif

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Leigh W3NLB

Evan
03-09-2006, 12:41 AM
Hey everyone, Evan is a multi-culturalist!
He'll eat the mussels in New York if he must, but he prefers them in the Prague. And say what you will, the wine in France is still the best.

Actually, when I lived in New York I preferred a bagle with lox and cream cheese.

He quietly wonders why Americans enjoy football when the rest of the world know soccer is the real futbol and rugby players are far tougher - they lose more testicles per year to their game.

I don't give hoot about either. I don't follow sports. Sometimes I can't avoid catching a few moments on the news if I don't mute it quickly enough.

He knows phrases in German that are quite profound, but unfortunately there's no accurate translation and even if there were you wouldn't be able to grasp it.

Same for English.

He prefers public transportation whenever possible, and if he must drive his own vehicle he eschews SUVs in favor of Japanese hybrids.

What is "public transportaion"? I own a Ford and a Chrysler.

He speaks English when in mixed company but can't help sprinkle in phrases in French and Spanish just to let everyone know he's real smarter.

I don't speak Spanish and only a little French, mostly learned from our grocery products. (bilingual labeling)

But what you really need to know about Evan is someday his grandchildren will be living in New Beijing (formerly known as Massachusetts) and polishing the boots of someone named Mr. Wu.

Not likely. We are in Canada. We don't owe China money, they owe us.


But Evan...

You were just lamenting how difficult English is. Is that why everyone in Europe speaks it? You really should get your stories straight.

Shows how far you can go with determination and a good educational system, especially in Denmark. Unfortunately this is not the case in the US.

While that is true for the spoken dialects, it is definitely not true of the written language, which is intelligible throughout China courtesy of Emperor Shihuangdi over 2000 years ago.

Quite true. That is why the Chinese are big on having things in writing. It lessens the chance of misunderstanding.

Hey ya'll. "The Home Shop MAchinist"!!
Anyone turn on a drill today?

Nope. Does milling on my lathe count?

J Tiers
03-09-2006, 01:12 AM
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">I disagree the we need us and thems, it’s the root of a lot of evil and we're not adept at avoiding it. Certainly human nature drifts towards the us and them behavior.</font>

That is more-or-less what I meant. Not that we SHOULD have them, but that we tend to create them if we can't find them.

The presence of folks who want to participate in the benefits of society, while hating it, and (in the case of SOME hispanics) wanting to at least effectively and socially, if not legally, remove several states from the US, is NOT likely to reduce tribalism.

In case you were asleep, that is in fact the political position of a number of hispanics, at least one of whom (despite his protests that what he used to say he didn't actually say) is the other guy who ran for governor in Kalifornia.

The irony of that is that they want to heave out the "invaders" (thats us) in favor of their folks, whose culture and considerable (but not 100%) background is that of prior invaders (Spaniards), who had in turn overthrown the prior-to-them invaders.... etc, etc.

I cleaned up the shop a bit, does that count?

Leigh
03-09-2006, 06:26 AM
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Evan:
...Shows how far you can go with determination and a good educational system, especially in Denmark. Unfortunately this is not the case in the US....</font>

Hi Evan,

Well, it appears that we do agree on something. The state of the US education system is deplorable.

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Leigh

[This message has been edited by Leigh (edited 03-09-2006).]

bob308
03-09-2006, 07:34 AM
a quick history lession for some. we kicked the british out of our country. and there was a vote for a language for the new country. english won over german by one vote.

railfancwb
03-09-2006, 07:47 AM
Never seems to be mentioned, but Canada pretends to be legally bilingual....

And a significant (or at least vocal) part of the French-but-not-English-speaking population in Quebec wants to remove the province from the English-but-not-French-speaking rest of the Commonwealth.

There is a greater incentive for those of French ancestry to learn English than the other way, which means that a disproportionate part of the national-level government jobs (which require bilingual employees) are held by those of French ancestry. I suspect that we'll see a similar trend with government jobs in the USA increasingly being occupied by those of Hispanic ancestry, for the same reasons.

Charles

Mcgyver
03-09-2006, 08:15 AM
there's not much pretending about, much to the disdain of a lot of English speaking Canada. Officialdom is bilingual...but you're right in a practical sense its a regional thing that to appease Quebec is stretched to national proportions. you're also right, that to appease the hispanic vote you could see a similair movement although you have the advantage that there is only one official language, spanish is only market driven not mandated (yet? http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//smile.gif ).

learning a language is tough, but how tough is inversly proportional to the need. Of course the average joe growing up in Idaho is not going to have the same motivation to learn Dutch as the average Lars growin up in Holland would have towards learning English. Doesn't make the guy from Idaho less, its just a practical reality driven by need.

And we may not owe the Chineese as much money, but we certainly beat the US in the race to establish Beijing West

Rooter
03-09-2006, 08:28 AM
Boy this ones all over the map, but here's my 2 cents worth.
As far as the U.S. requiring passports, even for it's own citizens. Most countries I've been to require one for entry. This most prevailent in Europe where most countries are smaller than some of our States.
As far as the Canadian economy, better thank NAFTA for that. Big business and manufacturing are leaving this country like rats from a sinking ship. And why ???
Because of the heartless greedy nature of corporations. It's now too easy for them to move plants outside of the U.S to places where they can get labor for $5 a day with no benefits, ship it to Canada or Mexico and then just truck it across the border bypassing taxes and tarriffs. All this to increase the bottom line, not for the corporation, but for the good old boys in charge.
States like California now have requirements for teachers to be bi-lingual, among other things. I feel this is due to the fact that politicians want to stay in office. Politicians in this country used to be public servants. Now they are nothing but a bunch of greedy, self-servant lawyer scum, in my opinion. You want to stay in office here, bow to the rich and powerful, grease the squeaky wheel, and prevent the mass majority from being well educated as to take freedoms away from them by having them think it was their idea. Divide and conquer.
30 years ago, most people in this country were proud to be called an “American”, despite our cultural and religous differences. Now everyone is a Mexican/American, Canadian/American, African/American, Indian/American, etc., etc.
To me, despite all it’s faults, this is still the best place in the world to live. I guess that’s why so many keep coming and so few leave.

Evan
03-09-2006, 08:55 AM
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">
As far as the Canadian economy, better thank NAFTA for that. Big business and manufacturing are leaving this country like rats from a sinking ship. And why ???
Because of the heartless greedy nature of corporations. It's now too easy for them to move plants outside of the U.S to places where they can get labor for $5 a day with no benefits, ship it to Canada or Mexico "
</font>

Canadian investment in the US actually exceeds US investment in Canada, in some years by a wide margin. It isn't cheaper to manufacture in Canada compared to the US. Taxes are higher and the cost of doing business is higher. The trade deficit that the US holds with Canada is largely due to imports of goods and services, especially commodities such as energy products and building materials.

NAFTA has little to do with that and nothing to do with lumber imports as the US isn't respecting NAFTA agreements in that regard at all. The US owes Canada billions more if it ever lives up to its trade agreements. It shows no inclination to do so as yet.

barts
03-09-2006, 11:33 AM
&gt; Evan, you sound like a 22 year old armchair intellectual.
&gt; Regardless of what mass transportation, mass
&gt; communication, and weak borders did for the USSR, in OUR
&gt; CASE it is ruining our country. Chew on that a bit.

&gt; Quit making excuses for those who are too lazy to learn
&gt; English. No one said they had to speak perfect English - but
&gt; thinking they can get by only speaking Mexican doesn't
&gt; hack it.

And they bitched about the lazy Poles, Italians, Puerto Ricans, etc, etc in years past - and now they're part of
country.

When you realize that the real reason the borders are as
porous as they are is to keep wage pressure down on the
bottom part of the economy, you'll really get mad.

Don't blame the poor immigrants - they're acting like
good Americans, acting in their own economic self-interest.
Blame the folks who like a reserve army of the
unemployed to hold down wages. Blame those who'd rather
hire illegal immigrants, because those immigrants are so
much more easily exploited.

Just look at the proposed "guest worker" programs; they're
intended to "close the borders" while still making sure that
there's enough pressure on wages at the bottom end of the economy.

- Bart

Duct Taper
03-09-2006, 12:18 PM
Teddy Roosevelt had a lot to say about leaving the old life behind and accepting the new country as your own. MidEasterners want "westerners" out of their part of the world, OK. Send them back home too if they aren't willing to become Americans. Same thing for the Mexicans and Cubans and any other ethnic group who aren’t willing to become one of us. My great-grandfather came from Germany to homestead in North Dakota in the mid-1800's and I saw the paper he had to sign renouncing all allegiance to the King of Prussia. I don't know if America still requires that, but they should.

Enough of this multi-lingual, multi-cultural politically correct society we are developing now that doesn't expect immigrants to accept and become part of what took over 200 years and a lot of lives to develop. Teddy Roosevelt was right.

Wirecutter
03-09-2006, 03:06 PM
Again, late to the party - I should have posted my multi-lingual rant here, rather than the "lowes" thread.

I read the exchange between Evan and everyone else, and couldn't help but laugh. I check the man's profile, and sure enough. Evan's Canadian.

Have a big problem with illegal Mexicans in the Great White North, do ya Evan?

http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//biggrin.gif http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//biggrin.gif

Leigh
03-09-2006, 03:13 PM
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Duct Taper:
...I saw the paper he had to sign renouncing all allegiance to the King of Prussia.</font>

Absolutely right, Duct. Those Prussians are a big problem http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//eek.gif And they wear stupid helmets http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//biggrin.gif

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Leigh

Evan
03-09-2006, 03:49 PM
"Have a big problem with illegal Mexicans in the Great White North, do ya Evan?"

Nope. We pay their airfare and give them work permits to help with the strawberry and cranberry harvest. They have to leave when they are done.

TECHSHOP
03-09-2006, 09:19 PM
A language is a systematic communication by vocal symbols. It is a universal characteristic of the human species. The earliest forms of language known are no more "primitive" than modern forms. Because language is a cultural system, individual languages classify objects and ideas differently. There are between 3000 and 4000 speech communities (groups speaking the same language). Differences within speech communities are dialects. Languages change continuously, but various factors, especially literacy, lead to the developement of a community's standard language, usually one dialect. Literary and colloquial standards may differ, and a group jargon may be unitelligible to outsiders; the differences are primarily in vocabulary.

English is written with an alphabet, which "allows" new words to be created/added easier than a syllabary (e.g., the kana used in Japanese) does.

Gender is present in many languages, it is far from universal. A two-gender distinction between animate and inanimate is wide spread.
French and Spanish only have two, masculine and feminine, others add neuter (German, der/die/das). English, for the most part, has no gender (blond/blonde, being the only word I can think of now, and the thrird person singular pronouns, he/she/it).This lack of gender also makes it "easier" to add words to the language, as new words do not need to be assigned a gender.

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Today I will gladly share my experience and advice, for there no sweeter words than "I told you so."

gizmo2
03-09-2006, 09:38 PM
Hey, y'all are starting to get my Irish up. Tho' I don't know why exactly, as Evan seems to be rolling with the punches just fine. But I'd like to remind you all, that on this MACHINIST BOARD, Evan is one of the most consistent, helpful, and talented individuals among us. You want to blow smoke about other topics then have at it, but keep the personal attacks out of it. If you run off the talent, all we'll have left is your smoke. Lighten up, all of ya.

Duct Taper
03-09-2006, 10:15 PM
QUOTE "Absolutely right, Duct. Those Prussians are a big problem And they wear stupid helmets"

Hmmmm.... so that's why my head is shaped like that!

pstephens
03-10-2006, 01:06 AM
Thanks to Duct Taper for reminding me that it was Teddy Roosevelt that warned of America becoming a "polyglot boarding-house". What I learned during my brief stay in California is how socially divisive a language barrier can feel.

But what I find ironic is that government promotes Multilingualism while at the same time encouraging everyone to adopt the metric system. Language is a FAR more unifying cultural aspect than a system of measurement. I have no problem with anyone speaking whatever language they choose, but I firmly believe that the United States should have an Official Language, and require that all of its interactions be conducted in that language. At least that's some incentive for illegals to learn the language before going on the dole.

[This message has been edited by pstephens (edited 03-10-2006).]

Evan
03-10-2006, 01:36 AM
Don't worry, no offense taken and I hope none given. I enjoy a good discussion about just about anything. As many here know that includes the differences in perception of what Americans think of America and themselves compared to how the USA is perceived from outside the country.

I feel I have a right to pass comment as I am an American but have a perspective that many Americans do not. I was born and grew up in the US, served in the US Army as a volunteer and came to Canada afterward for personal reasons. I have traveled to Europe twice and across the US many times. I have lived in some of the largest cities in the US including NYC, LA and SF. I have spent time in many more and have visited about 35 of the states. I've been in the crown of the Statue of Liberty. I've been to Washington DC many times and have seen and read the Constitution and climbed the steps of the Washington Monument. I have been in the White House and have studied the history of the US extensively. I have read many of the speeches and letters of the founding fathers.

Americans commonly have a view of America that frequently does not coincide with what the rest of the world thinks and also frequently don't understand why that is.

The reasons are many and varied, too many to enumerate here.

I mean no ill will toward anyone but I feel compelled to speak out when I hear common misconceptions and rehetoric put forth. I have never been one to back away from a peaceful discussion but will avoid violence unless it is the only option. This includes verbal violence in the form of ad hominem attacks, which I refuse to indulge in.

For the record, I will state a few of my beliefs:

I vote conservative.
I am a "small e" environmentalist.
Trees are like weeds, cut one down and ten more grow in its place.
I oppose gun control.
I despise the current plague of "political correctness".
I despise bigots.
Affirmitive action is a disaster.
I am an atheist, with a small "a". I do not insist there is no God, merely that I do not know of one.
I have attended services at many churches of many religions and have read most of the Bible.
I have read the Sayings of Ayatollah Khomeini in his Little Green Book.
I try to do no harm.

Joel
03-10-2006, 03:20 AM
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Evan:
As many here know that includes the differences in perception of what Americans think of America and themselves compared to how the USA is perceived from outside the country. </font>

I know it is difficult not to be broadly general when making a point, but please try and remember that all Americans don’t think alike and that all of us are not blind. Obviously, far from all of us agree with many of the decisions our leaders make.

For better or worse, America is currently the strongest unified power on the planet. I suppose that fact in itself breeds a certain amount of arrogance. Human nature also ensures a certain amount of jealousy from the rest of the world over it. I would however, think that even the most prideful American acknowledges that many of the elements that made this country great no longer exist. Is it possible for us to win back all that we have lost, and can we convince the rest of the world that we are not just a bunch of power hungry yahoos that are hell bent on forcing our viewpoints onto them? Honestly, at this point, probably not. No government lasts forever, but at least I can say that over the last couple hundred years, ours did manage do a lot of good. Keep in mind that there are a percentage of people here who do try to improve things as best they can, and change for the better is certainly possible.

You have a strong nationalistic pride; just don’t be too surprised that many Americans also feel this way about their own country. Overall, you appear to be an exceptionally objective person, but this pride does seem to obfuscate it at times.
A fresh viewpoint is always quite welcome, but please don’t tell me what I perceive or how I think. I will promise not to try and convince you that BC is small, that we have the oldest trees, or that we have the prettiest women. http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//wink.gif



<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2"> I try to do no harm. </font>

Personally, I find this one of the most admirable of qualities.

Leigh
03-10-2006, 06:23 AM
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Evan:
...For the record, I will state a few of my beliefs:
I vote conservative.
I am a "small e" environmentalist.
Trees are like weeds, cut one down and ten more grow in its place.
I oppose gun control.
I despise the current plague of "political correctness".
I despise bigots.
Affirmitive action is a disaster.
I am an atheist, with a small "a". I do not insist there is no God, merely that I do not know of one.
I have attended services at many churches of many religions and have read most of the Bible.
I have read the Sayings of Ayatollah Khomeini in his Little Green Book.
I try to do no harm.
</font>

Hmmm...

It appears you and I agree far more than we disagree http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//biggrin.gif

However, gun control means hitting your target, and I'm very much in favor of it.

Five out of five in one hole @ 100 meters, Remington 700BDL bull-barrel in .308, Burris bipod, shoulder-held on the bench, handloaded 168 gr. Sierra Match Kings.

------------------
Leigh

[This message has been edited by Leigh (edited 03-10-2006).]

chief
03-10-2006, 06:27 AM
How can you prove to a customs agent you are an american? If you have traveled as extensively as you say you get a password by mail by mailing in your expired passport.
I have done this numerous times, the only time I had to appear in person was to renew my diplomaic passport, my tourist passport
I just mailed in.
I think you tend to blow things out of proportion (which is no problem unless you are maching a part).

Evan
03-10-2006, 09:39 AM
Sweeping generalizations are unavoidable and are bound to offend some so I apologize for that. Yes, I am proud of my adopted country even with the many faults of our own governments over the years it is still the best place I have lived.


<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">
How can you prove to a customs agent you are an american? If you have traveled as extensively as you say you get a password by mail by mailing in your expired passport.
</font>

Not any more Chief. I haven't had a US passport for many years and have no idea where the old one is. Many of the rules have changed or will change in the near future. It will no longer be sufficient to prove you are an American citizen which I can easily do as I have a certified copy of my birth certificate and a SSN.

The reason for having to appear in person is that the new passport will include biometric information. To obtain that you and everyone else must be present so they can take that information. It will be at the least a finger print and may include an iris scan or similar.

You will have to show up too for your next passport renewal.


<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">
What is a Biometric?

A biometric or biometric identifier is an objective measurement of a physical characteristic of an individual which, when captured in a database, can be used to verify the identity or check against other entries in the database. The best known biometric is the fingerprint, but others include facial recognition and iris scans.

What This Means - Traveling to the U.S.

For U.S. Visas the chosen biometric identifier method is a digital photo and electronic fingerprints. The two index fingers of a visa applicant are electronically scanned in a quick, inkless process during the consular officer's interview with the applicant. All Embassies and Consulates are now processing fingerprint scans when visa applicants are interviewed for their visa.

http://travel.state.gov/visa/immigrants/info/info_1336.html

</font>

This also applies to returning US citizens.

[This message has been edited by Evan (edited 03-10-2006).]

kf1002002
03-10-2006, 10:33 AM
About Evan and some others:
I too am a Canadian and I have lived for short periods in the US, Italy and France. I find Canada is by far the most pleasant place to live but my second, far lower choice would be France. My wife was originally American but is now Canadian, naturalized back when you could not hold dual citizenship and she is now more rabidly Canadian than I am. (I guess some would accuse me of getting into bed with the Americans)
As for gun control, I am against it, also against gun nuts but I admire the gunsmithing skills displayed here and there.
As for language, what is the objection to learning another language? I find I cannot live in another country without absorbing the language even if I don't try.
If a government wants to do real harm to its citizens it has only to attempt to suppess a language as the Quebec government is trying to do regarding English. Just as an example I was doing a job in Quebec a few years ago and the electrical technician I was working with knew practically no English as the Quebec government has mandated French only in the schools (with a few irrelevant exceptions). I welcomed the chance to practice French but that technician, age 20-25 is locked into Quebec and can do no effective work in the rest of Canada nor in the rest of the world. My advice to Americans is don't be paranoid about language, it will come around in a generation or two and this is a short time in the life of a nation.
Ken

Evan
03-10-2006, 10:46 AM
Leigh said,

"However, gun control means hitting your target, and I'm very much in favor of it."

http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//biggrin.gif I shot 63 out of 65 in my final test in basic training. I have the Expert marksmanship medal, something that not even some generals have.

gmatov
03-11-2006, 01:28 AM
Evan,

Something that not even MOST generals have.

The up from the ranks, went to Boot Camp, officers are a thing of the past.

All from West Point, Annapolis, The Citadel, Norwich, and wherever the Air Force goes. Rarely if ever fire a weapon.

What did you shoot 63X65 with? Kudos to you regardless.

Elsewhere it was said they would learn the American English with time. True.

Just don't learn it too "good" or now you'll look like you're trying to be better than "US".

It's a can't win situation.

Them who rant on this subject won't change. If you can't l'arn my langwidge, git outa my cuntry.

If there was a proficiency test for English, half the population would be deported, and that includes them who wuz born here, mebbe even them whose great grands cum over on the Mayflower.

Had more to say, but realize it's in another thread.

However, everybody insists that the newcomers learn the language of the land. For a good portion of the county's history, any newcomers were shunted off to their own community. The Irish to Shanty Town, the Chinese railroad builders to China Town, the Italians to Little Italy, in Pittsburgh, PA, Polish Hill, as seen in Bruce Willis' Strike Force. Slovaks, other Slavs, had their own enclave, Germans, Germantown.

Now, you come here, you gots to learn the talk, even if you gots to live in the (fill in the blank) section of town. We don't want your kind here. Unless you are rich, of course. Then you could be Idi Amin, you are welcome.

But if you came to get a job and were about to take one that no self respecting Amurrican would do, like garbage collection, or dishwashing in a restaurant, git back to your side of the tracks, boy.

I have to go over the "How Old Are You" thread, mark the ages of the most vehement and vocal of the dissenters here. I think it will show that the young pups, the ones with low job prospects, because, "Everyone knows them furriners are taking our jobs, them what ain't suckin' up all the Welfare dollars!"

It isn't that the USA is selling itself down the river under the present administration, it is still the greatest ever to exist in the history of the Republic, if you should ask any of them, many who are not even old enough to vote.

I pity you who have sunk 60 to a 100 thou in a college education to find that McD's is the only place you will ever be able to find a job, other than the machining skills you learn here, which just MIGHT save your asses.

"Polyglot Boardinghouse". I like that. That from the man who traveled much of the world shooting big game, and I guess he did the same as the typical American does when he travels to another country, today, he just spoke louder.

We do know, of course, that at the time he spoke such was the time of the feared Anarchists? If they spoke broken English shoot them, or at least keep them away from the Capitol.

What a crew we have here. Better than in the other thread, but not what I would call offering the milk of human kindness.

See you there.

Cheers,
George

Evan
03-11-2006, 01:33 AM
"What did you shoot 63X65 with? Kudos to you regardless."

M14 with standard iron sights. If I hadn't missed a few I would have gotten a better than perfect score. On one shot I hit the 100 yard, the bullet skipped off a rock, hit the 200 yard popup, skipped again and hit the 300 yard target dropping all three with one shot. The corporal just about dropped his jaw on the ground but gave me credit for all three since I hit the closest one first.

Millman
03-11-2006, 02:49 AM
Evan, good job! Seargent York, you say?

------------------
BFH

gmatov
03-11-2006, 02:58 AM
Evan,

My eyes might need a scope, now, but back then, you couldn't beat the aperure sight on the M1 nor, since it was the same, the M14.

And, though they might question Quigley for attaching his tang sight and hitting the target, the sights on either of those 2 rifles, with your range notebook, this many clicks right, this many clicks up, dead on at 500 metres, with an 8 inch bull.

I didn't LIKE the 14, was brought up on the M1, but did train with it. Got myself a pair of crossed rifles, too.

Now I'm into BP, and the main reason I decided to get more machines for my own shop/garage.

I did a survey of the "How old are you", and there are 3 people who are under 21. Seems like there are way more posting here who are under, who did not say how old they were on that poll, did not post.

So, it seems like mebbe it is all them kids who are posting that they should be getting them Welfare checks than all them Meskins.

I hate when kids post their political opinions when they are too young to vote. Just repeating their Daddy's prejudices.

Of course they will vote Republican, excuse me for making a political detour, but Good Grief, do they think it will always not affect them? They are too young to count. They can't vote, but they CAN rouse the rabble, which is their own kind. Not really rabble, but uninformed children.

You had a Democrat who reduced the deficit. He even came in with a surplus in the Budget. You voted in a Republican, he spent the surplus, giving tax breaks to the wealthiest in the nation, insists on more, and was re-elected, because he is holier than the guy he ran against.

We have a bigger deficit than anytime in the nation's history, including all out war, and assholes who are under the voting age think he is a gift from God.

Jeezus, even the REPUBLICANS are starting to see through him, and I mean the ones who aided and abetted him. Hell, he got them re-elected, didn't he, sure they'll do whatever the Emperor wants, till recently.

To them kids who think they will set up a machine shop in their basement or garage and sub to the Chinese, or anybody else, in a few years, never happen.

Consider this a hobby, the world is being taken over by the lowest bidder, as it alwys has been. And, you ain't it.

Have fun with your hobby mill. That is all I wanted, I am an old guy, not looking for a contracting check.

You might need that check. Keep voting the way you are, and you youngsters, keep listening to these guys, you'll need a little welfare, too.

"Soylent Green is US". And, if they ain't eating us up, where the hell have you been?

Cheers,

George

Millman
03-11-2006, 03:24 AM
George, that was funny. But you know the next President is NOT allowed to change anything. So, if you're a Dem., good luck. This country needs 300 Parties to choose from. Not just 2 corrupt individuals to choose. When are people ever gonna' learn????? Soylent Green was a great movie, how soon people forget!

------------------
BFH

[This message has been edited by Millman (edited 03-11-2006).]

Leigh
03-11-2006, 05:12 AM
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Millman:
...Soylent Green was a great movie, how soon people forget!</font>

Some ketchup... perhaps hot sauce???

------------------
Leigh

Millman
03-11-2006, 05:17 AM
Tasty! I get kinda' hot sometimes. Yeah, right If people really get that hungry, they'll eat the ass out of a skunk; Back when I was a Pup, I had to chase down bison on the great plains to get meat. You just run till you wear them down and tear out the flesh with your bare teeth. OK, that was back when they made stronger teeth; just a few million years ago. Can't run fast enough now!

------------------
BFH

[This message has been edited by Millman (edited 03-11-2006).]