Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Did you get your petition?

I got my English First postcard petition in the mail yesterday. Very handy. Private. No chance of being harassed like the OK3. You sign the postcard, refold it, add a stamp and send it off. It couldn't be easier.

In case you can't read the graphic above here's the actual wording of the petition.

The undersigned residents and qualified voters of Davidson County, Tennessee, do hereby propose the following amendment to the Metropolitan charter to be voted on by the people at the November 4, 2008 election. A new section numbered 1.08 will be added to Article 1 of the Metropolitan Charter. The new section shall state the following: "English is the official language of the Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County, Tennessee. Official actions (those which bind or commit the government) shall be taken only in the English language, and all official government communications and publications shall be published only in English. No person shall have a right to government services in any other language. All meetings of the Metro Council, boards, and Commissions of the Metropolitan government shall be conducted in English. Nothing in this measure shall be interpreted to conflict with federal or state law." Voters shall be provided the two choices of FOR and AGAINST.



Staying Under The Radar said...

re: "Following in the 'make fun of it' instead of actually examine and argue it camp..."

It is not a trivial matter, for one to use butchered English language in an attempt to argue in favor of English-only usage. Hello??? It's one way, in fact, to show in neon that you don't really care enough about your argument(s) yourself, to take the time to draft your language carefully. The writer places the burden on the reader to ... figure out, What the hell are you trying to say? Such a lame practice results in a significant loss of credibility. The reader, stumbling through the grammar difficulties, finds it hard to take the weightier arguments seriously. Some people may find it more than difficult to make it past the hurdle, especially if they take into account the likelihood that court(s) may consider the position of the proposal unconstitutional.

Advice for Future Reference: When sending out something of this nature (e.g., a peitition) to the public at large, take the time to enlist the services of a Grammar Specialist, and provide a sharp pencil for editing purposes. It will help, at the very least, on the creditiblity issue. You may not win the war, but you will do better on the credibility battle front, and that does happen to be one of the battles that matters.

Personally, I don't know where I stand on the English-only issue. I know that I don't typically find Eric Crafton to be among those who offer meaningful, thoughtful, realistic solutions to some of our more serious problems. And on this particular piece, I never made it past the (sigh) grammar issues. These two very serious credibility issues incline me to believe that The Other Side is more worthy of my vote.

Kay Brooks said...

OK, the appeal could have been worded better....but what about the Charter Amendment itself? Is that written in a sufficiently straight forward manner to be understood?

Let's not get distracted. Let's debate the actual amendment.