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Results for "August, 2006"

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  • Google rules that google isn't a word

    Giant Google to take over English language

  • Pluto re-enters underworld

    This week the International Astronomical Union downgraded Pluto from planet to dwarf planet. Discovered in 1930 and named after the Roman god of the underworld because it was so far from the sun, Pluto quickly became the ninth planet in the solar system because it was initially thought to be larger than the earth. Pluto's planetary status came into question not long after, when it became clear that the new object was actually smaller than the earth's moon. A move in 1999 to reclassify Pluto was abandoned after schoolchildren mounted a letter-writing campaign to save the lonely planet from ignominy. But the discovery three years ago of 2003 UB 313, known to her friends as Xena, an object in solar orbit that is both bigger than Pluto and farther from the sun, sealed Pluto's fate.

  • Official English in Bogota, New Jersey?

    In July, 2006, Steve Lonegan, the mayor of Bogota, New Jersey (pop. 7,344), called for a boycott of McDonalds over a Spanish-language billboard that the company put up in his town. The mayor feels that a Spanish billboard one that McDonalds also put up in other towns in New York and New Jersey discourages assimilation and signals the hamburger giants support ofillegal immigration. When his boycott didnt work -- the billboard remains and hamburgers continue to be sold -- Lonegan put a measure on the November ballot to make his town English-only.

  • English: the Official language of the Philly Cheese Steak

    English may not be the official language of the United States, but it is the official language of Genos Steaks, a Philadelphia landmark specializing in cheese steaks. Thats because eight months ago Genos owner Joseph Vento filled his restaurant with signs reading, This is America. When ordering speak English.

  • Jose Can You See? National anthem in Spanish--but will the kids dance to it?

    At a news conference at the end of May, 2006,  President Bush rejected a Spanish-language version of “The Star-Spangled Banner” that hit the airwaves in conjunction with the May 1 “Day without Immigrants.” Mr. Bush told reporters, “I think the national anthem ought to be sung in English, and I think people who want to be a citizen of this country ought to learn English and they ought to learn to sing the national anthem in English."

    Referring both to the immigration debate and to the controversial Spanish recording of “Nuestro Himno,” which alternates between a close translation of the national anthem and a loose one, the president added, “One of the things that’s very important is when we debate this issue that we not lose our national soul.”

  • English: The official national language of the United States

    In the summer of 2006, the U.S. Senate passed an amendment to the Immigration Law that would make English the national language of the United States. Later the same day it passed another amendment making English our common and unifying language. While political analysts and lexicographers scrambled to figure out whether a national language is divisive, and a common one, unifying, the Senate settled on making English national rather than common, without saying what that might mean.

  • Farsi Farce: Iran to deport all foreign words

    In a stunning response to what he sees as American meddling in Middle Eastern affairs, Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad ordered the immediate deportation of all foreign words in the Persian language and their replacement in all government and cultural communications with special Farsi terms and expressions approved by the Persian Academy, Iran's language watchdog.