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Old February 27th, 2009, 11:20 PM
scottc320 scottc320 is offline
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United States adopts Greek as official language

I remember this was being considered as the official language for some reason during the beginning of the United States. What do you think would be the impact of it being adopted?
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  #2  
Old February 27th, 2009, 11:39 PM
darthbalmung darthbalmung is offline
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The united States calls another constitutional convention to make sure that something like that never happens again.
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Old February 27th, 2009, 11:48 PM
Dan1988 Dan1988 is offline
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That leaves the question - which form of Greek? If anything, it's going to be a form of katharevousa.
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Old February 28th, 2009, 02:30 AM
GeneralHouston GeneralHouston is offline
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Greek would be the official language on government documents and everyone would continue to speak English in their personal lives.
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Old February 28th, 2009, 02:38 AM
Susano Susano is offline
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Originally Posted by GeneralHouston View Post
Greek would be the official language on government documents and everyone would continue to speak English in their personal lives.
Since people need to understand government documents, though, that would over time probably be restricted to only the most ceremonial official documents.

Though this smells of Urban Legend, anyways.
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  #6  
Old February 28th, 2009, 03:01 AM
Nikephoros Nikephoros is offline
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It would be an official language, but would never be used.
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Old February 28th, 2009, 03:09 AM
wormyguy wormyguy is offline
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I'd assume by that ancient Greek is meant, for the intellectualness of it all.
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Old February 28th, 2009, 03:12 AM
Lord Grattan Lord Grattan is offline
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I've read that German was considered, but not Greek. Where did you read about this? At any rate, the decision would very quickly be reversed and the legislators who proposed the original resolution and many of those who voted for it would be thrown/laughed out of office.
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Old February 28th, 2009, 03:17 AM
Keenir Keenir is offline
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I'd assume by that ancient Greek is meant, for the intellectualness of it all.
well, if they want a dead language, why not Latin? (language of Rome - whose laws and building styles were emulated big-time by the Founders)

Greek just has too many problems....even the Helenophiles like Lord Byron bemoaned how the "heirs of Homer" had become inferior to the Turkish horde.
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Old February 28th, 2009, 03:27 AM
Dan1988 Dan1988 is offline
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Greek just has too many problems....even the Helenophiles like Lord Byron bemoaned how the "heirs of Homer" had become inferior to the Turkish horde.
Katharevousa/Ancient Greek I can understand, but at least dhimotiki (and its descendant, Modern Greek) is much simpler than katharevousa.
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Old February 28th, 2009, 06:46 AM
Keenir Keenir is offline
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Katharevousa/Ancient Greek I can understand, but at least dhimotiki (and its descendant, Modern Greek) is much simpler than katharevousa.
true...but while Ancient Greek would be a prestige language, something the upper classes might learn in Boston and London.....the Greek of the late 1700s was the speech of people who can't even free themselves from The Turk.

so it's a trade-off, I agree.
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Old February 28th, 2009, 10:47 AM
Tyr Tyr is offline
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Its Greek now? I thought the myth was it was German or English?
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  #13  
Old February 28th, 2009, 12:05 PM
67th Tigers 67th Tigers is offline
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Originally Posted by Lord Grattan View Post
I've read that German was considered, but not Greek. Where did you read about this? At any rate, the decision would very quickly be reversed and the legislators who proposed the original resolution and many of those who voted for it would be thrown/laughed out of office.
*An* official language. English would also remain an official language.
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Old February 28th, 2009, 12:09 PM
Abdul Hadi Pasha Abdul Hadi Pasha is offline
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Why in God's name would the USA adopt Greek or German as the official language? I don't believe this for a minute.
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Old February 28th, 2009, 12:35 PM
Father Maryland Father Maryland is offline
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The old rumor is that in the late 1700s the US considered switching to German to distance itself from England. In reality it was a motion in congress I think to put German and English on signs in areas with high German populations. It got like 1 vote.
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Old February 28th, 2009, 01:16 PM
Jord839 Jord839 is offline
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The old rumor is that in the late 1700s the US considered switching to German to distance itself from England. In reality it was a motion in congress I think to put German and English on signs in areas with high German populations. It got like 1 vote.
Not true. It was a vote to make official copies of government papers in both english and german, due to the high german population within. It actually was a pretty close vote, with one man breaking the deadlock because he said the germans should assimilate to the dominate anglo culture. At least, I think so. I remember it being a close vote with at most a few votes difference, and that one quote, but it might have been less close than I'm making it seem.
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Old February 28th, 2009, 03:26 PM
Venusian Si Venusian Si is offline
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Originally Posted by Abdul Hadi Pasha View Post
Why in God's name would the USA adopt Greek or German as the official language? I don't believe this for a minute.
Greek just to look Classy and Democratic, and German because of the large German Population at t he time.

While this might be an Urban legend as well, I'll tell it anyway. Apparently, good old Ben Franklin feared that eveyone would be speaking German due to the large amounts of Immigrants...much in the Same way Rednecks fear Mexicans forcing everyone to speak Spanish.
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Old February 28th, 2009, 04:42 PM
Susano Susano is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Abdul Hadi Pasha View Post
Why in God's name would the USA adopt Greek or German as the official language? I don't believe this for a minute.
The latter IS an urban legend, at least. As said, the former most likely, too.

IIRC, there was a vote on wether to form a comitee to consider some official use of German, which was defeated by one vote. Urban legend made out of that that a vote on German as official language of the USA was defeated by one vote. Even when it wasnt about German being official languge and teh decision was only to (not) form a commitee.
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Old February 28th, 2009, 04:47 PM
Nikephoros Nikephoros is offline
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The latter IS an urban legend, at least. As said, the former most likely, too.

IIRC, there was a vote on wether to form a comitee to consider some official use of German, which was defeated by one vote. Urban legend made out of that that a vote on German as official language of the USA was defeated by one vote. Even when it wasnt about German being official languge and teh decision was only to (not) form a commitee.
That is all it takes to start an Urban Legend.
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  #20  
Old February 28th, 2009, 05:09 PM
Leo Caesius Leo Caesius is offline
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Franklin himself had some harsh things to say about Germans, but he was responsible for publishing the first German newspaper in the colonies (and incidentally the first foreign language newspaper in the British colonies), the Philadelphia Zeitung, which was a commercial failure. Perhaps that's why he was so down on them.

I have my doubts as to whether this vote ever actually occurred, as there are considerable variants to the legend beyond the one often adduced as the "authentic" version.
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