If Spanish is so Unamerican, why tolerate names like San Francisco and Los Angeles?

According to a few threads, notabley this one,


speaking Spanish is bound to lead to catastrophic seperatism, lesbian vampire commies, and the end of the world as we know it. Surely this evil tongue must be stopped!

I hear a lot of this in California, which frankly makes me laugh my ass off. Ever look at where you live? Chances are it is Los Angeles, or San Jose, or San Francisco, or Sacramento, or San Diego. You know those are all Spanish names, right? Yes, it is true. The evil Spanish language managed to actually manipulate time to make it appear like people have been speaking Spanish in California continuosly, for hundreds of years before English ever entered the scene!!!

I know. It is shocking. Imagine the idea that Spanish is just as legitamite a language to speak in California as English is! Next thing you know, they will be claiming that most of California was Mexico before it was the United States!!! Imagine the nerve of people for saying that it is alright to speak the language that your people have been speaking for generations. I can’t even stomach the thought.

We must stop this evil language of Spaniards, so we can prevent the kind of lingual strife that is destroying so many countries- like Switzerland. If you are truely American, you would fight for cities names The Angels, Saint Frank, and Saint Joe. Thank you. Amen.

Ummm . . . nice strawman and all, but I think you’ll find the real issue is whether or not we wish to spend tax dollars on bilingual government documents, signs, and translators.

I’ve been trying to get the names changed for years…don’t you think St. Francis is a more appropriate name for San Fran? :smiley:

To the OP: You might want to recall that the Golden State was once part of Mexico.

Andros, I think statements like:

show that the question is more cultural than economic. And if Spanish is such a great threat to our society (manipulating time to make it look like it has been the language of some areas for hundreds of years and all) than surely we cannot tolerate it in the very names of the places where we live.

“We have our own patron saint: Saint Francis the Sissy. For his miracle he turned breakfast into brunch.” - Tom Ammiano

Actually, even sven, the names are kept Spanish to rub our southern neighbor’s nose in the fact.

Why not? The families of a lot of my Spanish-speaking friends have been here (Texas) for a lot longer than my family has, and my mother’s side moved here in the 1840s.

Of course, it could destroy the country. After all, look at what happened to Switzerland.

They’ve been in the US for more than 150 years & not bothered to learn English yet? I’m certain that if I moved to a country where my native tongue wasn’t the official language, I would (and would be expected to) learn the country’s language.


She said that.

even sven:

I’m pretty sure that was sarcasm, though.

I’m not going to get worked up about it, but I don’t know why people care so much about native Spanish speakers speaking Spanish, raising their kids to speak Spanish, and voting in Spanish. Nothing particularly holy about English.

Slainte: And since when is English the official language of the United States of America?


Never! The United States does not have an official language; however, some of the individual states do have official languages. BTW, if you move to Hawaii do you intend to learn Hawaiian? After all, that’s an official language of that great State.

Slainte, I can’t speak for corny, but I would assume that his friends are bilingual, but speak mostly Spanish in the home. It seems almost impossible for a group to hold out for 150 years with picking enough words to communicate unless they lived on a remote ranch or something.

As for the OP: [devil’s advocate] Its’ because those cities were founded by hard working, God fearing, literate, noble Spainards, not greasy, lazy Mexicans.* [da] Besides, we kept Native American names such as Missouri and Oswego, Dutch names like Ploughkespie and Pennsylvania, and French names such as Lousiana and New Orleans. Why start renaming things?

[sub]*Not my opinion of Mexicans at all.

One thing I have noticed living in California is that the people who complain about the infiltration of Spanish never bothered to learn it. I think they are just upset that they can’t understand it. If they took the time to learn the language, would they really mind it if it became prevalent?

I checked the so-called offending thread. Really don’t see where the Spanish language is called unAmerican.

Surely the hamsters were meant for more meaningful subjects.

Thanks for playing, anyway. :rolleyes:

Touche, Monty. “Official” was a poor choice of words.

BTW, I lived in Hawai’i for 4 years & learned a lot of the language.

andros said:

To which cornflakes replied:

So, if you can speak English (Disclaimer: Unofficial US Language since 1776 or so) you don’t need the things andros mentioned. And if you have been in the US that long and cannot speak English I don’t see why you should be accommodated.

YMMV though

Slainte: Mahalo. At least regarding the Hawaiian thing.

Regarding your next posting: Accommodation isn’t the issue, alienation of citizens is.

Well, at least in some cases it was not a case of these Spanish-speaking people moving into the US, but the US moving into their territory. Not that I give an ant’s doo.

Por favor continúen.

Funny, the exact opposite thing is occuring in Louisiana.

There is a strong movement to preserve the Cajun French language. Elementary school children here in Lafayette are all in “French Immersion” classes.

The city government is changing road signs so they say, for example, “Route d’Evangeline Nord-Ouest” instead of “NW Evangeline Thruway.” The English translation is in very small letters under the French and can be hard to see when driving.

That’s no big deal in my previous example because “Evangeline” is a name and is spelled the same in both languages. I imagine, though, it could get a little hairy if a tourist was looking for Willow Street or something.

Hmm, I didn’t think of it that way Slainte. I guess we have to wait for cornflake to clarify this for us, but nice catch.

Re the they should be speaking it issue: I can see both sides of the issue, but I’m inclined to side with you. I think a person know enough of a language to get along in a society. When I went to France for an all too brief vacation, I made sure that I knew enough French to say hello, say thank you, and ask if they spoke English or Spanish (a language I was a lot better at than French). This worked out fine as I spent a lot of time in touristy areas full of bilingual guides, but I was sure to always ask “Cepa l’inleges” [sic] (a line roughly borrowed from "South Pacific)? That was just being respectful of being in another kid’s sandbox and playing by his rules.

If I had stayed in France to live I would have definately taken a course to learn the language or at least had a bilingual friend translate for me in rough situations. I’ve seen the translator thing happen many times in a department store I worked in. Usually the children will translate for a parent. That’s fine as long as the kids are there, but what about after they leave?

I’ve gotten a bit off track. I think everyone in the country should know enough to get around. For a tourist it might be a few phrases. For a full fledged citizen, they should know enough to understand basic life. Shopping, hosipitals, courts, etc. This shouldn’t be mandated by law, but its’ definately worth knowing.