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English is NOT The Official Language of the United States

May 1, 2019
By Anesa McGregor , Emmetsburg News

Surfing the Web can take a person to strange places and it can also teach someone a great deal. Personally, I like the sites that are full of history. I was at one such site when I learned that the United States does not have an official language. This surprised me. I always thought English was the official language of the U.S.

Needless to say, my curiosity was peaked. Digging into the subject, I found quite a few interesting facts about the United States and the English language.

It seems, the English language developed in Europe during the Middle Ages. Named after a Germanic tribe, the Angles, who travelled to England, the language has been developing for over a thousand years.

Although its roots are Germanic, the language has adopted many words that originated in many other languages. French and Latin words are the two most common to have made their way into the English language and that have had the most impact on modern English.

When Europeans first began to settle the United States, there were many languages commonly spoken. People across Europe choose to make the "new world" their home even though most colonies were under British rule. Because the United States was considered a melting pot, the first Continental Congress made the decision that no official language would be selected.

With advances in medicine and technology in English speaking countries after World War II, a push began by parents around the world for children to take English as a second language. Parents hoped this would give their children an advantage in the business world and helped push English into a global language.

A global language is a language spoken by millions of people; English is one such language. With all the oddities, such as irregular verbs, and the sheer size of the language itself make it one of the hardest languages to master. However, having an official language allows speakers to feel as if they are a part of a global community.

According to the U.S. Constitution website, the topic of an official language for the United States comes up every year. During almost every session of Congress, an amendment to the Constitution is proposed to adopt English as the official language of the U.S.

Unfortunately, many elected officials feel that declaring an official National language could potentially violate the first amendment.

As of 2018, 32 states have made English their official language, including Iowa.

On March 1, 2002, the Governor of Iowa signed the bill into law making English Iowa's official language.



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