Monday, 7 September 2015

Sarah Palin: the intellectually challenged would like to challenge us linguistically

Sarah Palin, firmly in the running, if not leading the field to be the most intellectually challenged candidate ever for US Vice Presidenthas called on immigrants to her country to “speak American.”

Palin: verbally challenged as well as intellectually
There are some 400 million Americans who speak Spanish as a first language. 38 million of them live in the United States. Only about 256 million US citizens speak English as a first language, with a shade under 20 million Canadians and a few million West Indians. So if it means anything at all, the notion of “American” as a language must first and foremost mean Spanish.

Naturally, that isn’t what Palin intended. In her CNN interview, she went on to clarify – and I use the word “clarify” in a broad sense – “I mean, that’s just, that’s – let’s speak English.”

Verbal expression is perhaps not her strong point (though, to be honest, I’ve rather given up trying to find out what her strong point might actually be.) According to The Guardian, she ended her piece with an appeal to be given charge of the Department of Energy:

I think a lot about the Department of Energy, because energy is my baby, oil and gas and minerals, those things that God has dumped on this part of the Earth for mankind’s use, instead of relying on unfriendly foreign nations for us to import their resources.

She ended with this stirring tribute to her plans for the department: 

And if I were head of that I would get rid of it.

If by “American” she means “English”, then before Palin calls on others to learn the language, perhaps she could take a little trouble to master it more fully herself.


Faith A. Colburn said...

Perhaps she means Lakota or Iroquois, maybe Navaho or Athabasca or Cree.

David Beeson said...

To be fair, I'm not sure it's ever entirely clear what she means, least of all to herself.