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Tuesday, September 15, 2015 

Busiek doesn't believe in the importance of understanding the official language

Busiek posted the following attack on Sarah Palin for arguing in favor of speaking English in America:

Something wrong with leaning the English language, Kurt? If immigrants, legal or not, don't understand the language, how will they understand what you've written in your own comics? It's not like every English-language pamphlet is translated for foreign audiences.

And not every English-language speaker understands foreign languages either, no matter how interesting they might find some concepts in foreign cultures. So how would a store owner understand an immigrant who comes in and asks for a product in a different language? That's why Geno's Steaks in Philadelphia put up a sign years ago asking buyers to speak English, and manager Joey Vento had to wage a legal fight to keep it up. How was he supposed to tell what a customer wanted served if he couldn't understand what anybody said? Even in Europe, not everybody understands a language spoken outside their specific country; people in the west probably don't understand the languages of the east.

Yeah, I get it. Busiek must be reacting to the resurging issue of illegal immigration. But he's not helping one bit if he's saying a newcomer shouldn't learn the leading language. And he's certainly not helping if he sees nothing wrong with interloping across the USA borders illegally. Nor is he helping by attacking Palin for the wrong reasons.

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I think Kurt is just riffing on Palin's "American" reference instead of "English," despite the pretty obvious facetiousness of the statement.

But that's par for the course for Kurt re: Palin. After all, he was the guy who immediately took to social media to wonder if Sarah's political "target" imagery was responsible for the shooting of Gabby Giffords.


There is no separate "American" language, but American English is a specific dialect, with its own slang terms and pronunciations. So Palin was not completely wrong.

Everyone occasionally mispronounces or misspells words, mixes metaphors, or uses words in the wrong context. Politicians do a lot of public speaking, and so are particularly at risk. The problem is the double standard. Palin, Bush, and Dan Quayle are constantly ridiculed for minor slips, but gaffes by Democrats are swept under the rug.

There is no separate "Austrian" language, either. The USA does not have 57 states. Charleston SC and Savannah GA are not on the Gulf Coast. And a paramedic or nurses' aide in the military is a corpsman, pronounced "core man," not "corpse man."

And, of course, all men are to blame for rape, and Sarah Palin is to blame for the shooting of Gabby Giffords. But don't dare to suggest that the ambush murder of a police officer could have any connection to the mobs chanting, "What do we want? Dead cops!" Or that Islam could have anything to do with a Muslim yelling "Allah Akbar" while shooting innocent victims.

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