Friday, June 09, 2006

found in the Seattle Times:




maybe if people are going to be xenophobic they should learn to "write" their native language with punctuation that "makes sense."

28 comments:

Bob K said...

This just might be the winner. One of my all time favorites.

Grant Miller said...

"True."

vikkitikkitavi said...

You "rock"!!!

sminty4815162342 said...

This is America. WRITE in English.

Sean said...

It could be argued that he's promoting a slogan, thereby making the quotation viable.

PD said...

As someone who is in no way xenophobic, and is, in fact, learning Spanish, I must say that everybody living permanently in the US needs to know and be fluent in English, something that many native speakers can't claim. (Try listening to any rap made in the last three years.)

Anonymous_Miss said...

I find that offensive. Maybe I wanted to practice for my spanish class or something, did you ever think about the fact that we HAVE to take AT LEAST two years of foriegn languagfe in high school? Maybe we're supposed to be bilingual! Stupid xenophobics. [No offense >;)]

To pd: LOL, I totally agree!

Customer of SVP DV2500B said...

English language rocks!

beldujour said...

Anonymous_miss, why would you decide to practice for your Spanish class when ordering a sandwich in an Italian neighborhood in Philadelphia? (I happen to know the place well.) The employees are all English speaking, and the photo is deceptive -- there's usually a huge crowd there and you'd be taking your life into your hands if you didn't order fast enough in English, let alone if you were unable to order in English at all!

I'm neither a xenophobe nor monolingual. I also don't insist on speaking English everywhere I go -- I found it much more useful to speak Russian in Moscow.

Love the placement of the quotation marks on the sign, though.

Kidsis said...

To beldujour:

I think Anonymous_Miss was using this thing called "sarcasm." It's this way of speaking or writing where you state things in one way but you mean them in another way, usually the "opposite" way....

Anonymous said...

How is someone who doesn't know English supposed to know they shouldn't bother with this establishment when the sign is in English?

Peter Urkowitz said...

Just a note. Apparently this same restaurant has been there for many decades, but back in the 1960's they would only serve you if you spoke Italian! Same intolerant attitude, just a different language. What a charming tradition from the old country to keep alive in the new one!

The Promiscuous Reader said...

I came looking to see if this sign had been noticed, and of course it had. I see that this guy has been upheld by the Philadelphia Commission on Human Relations --

http://news.aol.com/story/_a/speak-english-signs-ok-at-philly-shop/20080320083809990001?ncid=NWS00010000000001

Interestingly, the body of the article reports the sign as saying "WHEN ORDERING 'PLEASE SPEAK ENGLISH,'" but I don't see a PLEASE in that picture. The owner "has said he never refused service to anyone because they couldn't speak English. But critics argued that the signs discourage customers of certain backgrounds from eating at the shop." Like human beings, for instance? But if he's telling the truth, why have the sign at all, except to show that he's a bigot? We never shoulda let the Wops into this country ta begin wit'.

From what I know of Americans whose brains shut down if they hear foreign accents, I also wonder what constitutes speaking English for purposes of "service" in his establishment.

pd, not everyone who goes shopping or eats in restaurants is necessarily residing permanently here. They might be tourists. And Americans are notorious, not without reason, for expecting everyone to speak English when they travel elsewhere. I think other countries should require minimal competence in their languages before they grant an visa to Americans.

Oh, and I wonder if Geno's Steaks hires illegal Mexican workers with minimal English to work in their kitchen? Someone oughta check.

Mrrix32 said...

Americans don't speak English, they speak American. They took our language and F***ed it up! :-)

Nick said...

Even if the marks weren't there I'd find this funny.

Raquel said...

As a native Philadelphian who has ordered many a cheesesteak in her life, I just need to point out that you don't actually speak English when ordering a cheesesteak: saying "wiz wit" is questionable English at best. Also, Geno's sucks (where this picture was taken); Pat's is by far superior.

And, I love this site!

gseth78 said...

Believe me, most of our fellow Americans don't "speak" so much as they do mumble.

derelict52 said...

See, when I read that sign, I see an incomplete instruction. There is the undeniable declaration of patriotism, yes, but then I don't know what to do after I order "Speak English" (which I assume is a book or movie, perhaps a CD series of some kind...). Help me, Vinnie Barbarino, I'm so confused!

The Byzantine Rambler said...

This is actually like the legend on the Door to Moria in Lord of the Rings. To get service, you just speak "English" and they'll serve you.

Maria2 said...

An Indian guy in England tried to do a similar thing in these last weeks.... What happened to him? He was fired :-D
I quite agree with speaking the language of the country but there are some exceptions (as everything) the turistic zones. However I could say that "be lazy" to learn another language it is human, I know Americans or English people living in another country that dont want to learn the native language either.
By the way what interesting blog, I will try to find a funny photo I took sometime ago.
And before you criticize me, yes I am not english speaker but at least I do some effort.

Dan said...

According to this: http://www.census.gov/population/www/pop-profile/natproj.html

You got 21 years to learn spanish before they're %60 of the population.

Spanglish at least...

Jim said...

I pass these douche bags every morning on my way to work. The funny thing not in this picture is that they have a frankenstein in another window saying the same thing. I don't think frankenstein speaks english either.

Comrade Kat said...

I think Mrrix32 got it right-- it should actually read: Speak "English" and involve using only the Queen's English. :)

THANK YOU, by the way, for giving me the best finals' break yet!

Celia said...

this is terrible"..."

inglushteacher said...

Buenos dias. Quiero un "speak English" por favor. Gracias.

Liza said...

So if I were to say "mili k pi" (Lenape), I would not be served? In spite of the fact that is a Native American language. How about if I asked for coffee in Lushootseed? I don't know how to, but that is the language of the Duwamish, Suquamish, Muckleshoot, Snoqualmie, Tulalip, and Puyallup people of Seattle.

Jennifer Souza said...

But if you don't speak English maybe you don't READ it either. Just sayin'.

gtnsteve said...

Sadly, Joey Vento, the owner of this cheesesteak stand, and the signmaker, died this week in his hometown (Philadelphia). He was actually a good guy in spite of what you might have read, although punctuationally "challenged." Ha!