A Modern Modest Proposal

January 16, 2009
By Devon Morera, Stewartsville, NJ

On Preventing the Embarrassment and Inconvenience that Proper English-Speaking Americans Must
Currently Deal With It has come to my attention that when it comes to being proficient in a foreign
language, Americans are immensely behind people in other parts of the world. Of course, we know that
this is because those that created the education system in our fair country know that there are more
important facts to learn than how to say, "Hello," in Spanish, or "The bathroom is down the
hall and to the left," in German. While students in Europe or Asia have wasted time learning how
to speak two, three, even four languages besides the one they already speak, our nation's children
have learned real subjects, such as the skills needed to pass any standardized test. Clearly, our
students would succeed far better in life from what they have learned. However, one can say that
most students around the globe are learning the best, and what should be the only acceptable
language on this earth- English. Unfortunately, not all members of foreign societies are proficient
in our nation's most widely spoken language. They may use excuses for this such as the fact that
their country has another official language, or that the Bolsheviks made them learn Russian when
their country was part of the Soviet Union. These excuses, however, are fallible, and one should not
believe them. The fact of the matter is these foreign people do not learn English as means of
insulting us English-speakers, particularly us Americans. They take joy in having us visiting their
countries, watching us make valiant attempts when trying to speak their lingo, often not helping us
communicate what we need even if they know a bit of English, and then have the nerve to call us
"stupid Americans." Sadly, this is not even the worst scenario an innocent, English-speaking
American could encounter. It is not bad enough that we must encounter foreign languages in other
countries, but with the influx of immigrants, we must deal with them in our homeland. Now, when we
walk through Miami or Union City, we must deal with the confusing sounds of Spanish bleeding into
our ears. When we walk through various cities' Chinatowns, we must hear the grating voices of
people speaking Chinese. The worst part about this is that even when one of these "foreign
language speakers" can tell that you do not understand their language, they may hesitate to begin
using English until after they have finished their prior conversations. This lack of respect is
utterly appalling. These people do not want to assimilate and live in harmony with native Americans.
They do not mind making you feel awkward because you do not understand a word they are saying. By
not speaking solely in English, these immigrants show that they are ungrateful; they do not care
that they live in the greatest nation (which happens to speak English) in the world. Because of
these grave insults, I have come up with a proposal to spread the use of English and only English
first across our nation, and then across the world. We must start by making English the official
language of the United States of America. There should also be a federal law that no language other
than English can be spoken or written by American citizens. If anyone should let an "hola" or
"bonjour" spill out of his mouth, he will be severely punished. I believe an appropriate
punishment for breaking the law would be cutting the offender's tongue out of his mouth; this will
certainly provide motivation for others to follow it. Yet, we must not stop at making the United
States an entirely English-speaking country. Our country is one with great ambition, and we can
therefore spread the use of our beautiful language around the globe. Because foreign language
teachers will obviously be unemployed in the United States once the foreign language ban is enacted,
they will instead be sent all over the world to teach English. These people will be regarded as
heroes for taking the risk of encountering the inconvenient use of foreign languages on a daily
basis until their pupils are entirely fluent in English. Obviously, we cannot even think of going
through with ridiculous plans such as improving our schools foreign language curriculums or making
fluency in a foreign language required. While it make take some years for the entire world to be
proficient in English, this American Dream will come true. As many patriotic American citizens have
said, "Welcome to America. Now, speak English!" If we follow this proposal, the saying will
become, "Welcome to the world. Now, speak English!"

The author's comments:
After reading Jonathon Swift's biting, satirical essay, _A Modest Proposal_, our teacher asked us to write our own "modest proposals."

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This article has 5 comments.

human6 GOLD said...
on Sep. 10 2011 at 9:47 pm
human6 GOLD, Fasd, New Jersey
12 articles 0 photos 132 comments

Favorite Quote:
If you cannot convince a fascist aquaint his head with the pavement-trotsky
The bourgeoisie might blast and ruin its own world before it leaves the stage of history. We carry a new world, here, in our hearts. That world is growing this minute.“ durry

yes thats why we have the american public schools are 47th in the world, and with neighboring countries that speak other countries so near you have to speak multiple laungages.

on Aug. 10 2010 at 11:19 am
toxic.monkey SILVER, Tashkent, Other
6 articles 0 photos 210 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Homo homini lupus"

this is a really good piece! i've really enjoyed reading it:)

Sonata16 GOLD said...
on Jul. 19 2010 at 10:11 pm
Sonata16 GOLD, Mt. Pleasant, South Carolina
12 articles 0 photos 43 comments

Favorite Quote:
"There is no agony like bearing an untold story inside of you." --Zora Neil Hurston

YES! I love it! 

Jamie said...
on Oct. 23 2009 at 2:21 pm

on Jul. 30 2009 at 2:19 am
GirlEinstien BRONZE, St. Catharines, Other
1 article 0 photos 1 comment
VERY nicely done. I love satire, this is one of the best pieces I've seen in awhile, keep it up :)

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