United States adopts Greek as official language

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: Before 1900' started by scottc320, Feb 27, 2009.

  1. scottc320 Member

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    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?
     
  2. darthbalmung Well-Known Member

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    The united States calls another constitutional convention to make sure that something like that never happens again.
     
  3. Dan1988 Thinks he's going off his nut

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    That leaves the question - which form of Greek? If anything, it's going to be a form of katharevousa.
     
  4. GeneralHouston Well-Known Member

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    Greek would be the official language on government documents and everyone would continue to speak English in their personal lives.
     
  5. Susano Banned

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    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.
     
  6. Nikephoros Banned

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    It would be an official language, but would never be used.
     
  7. wormyguy Banned

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    I'd assume by that ancient Greek is meant, for the intellectualness of it all.
     
  8. Lord Grattan consigned to OTL

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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.
     
  9. Keenir Banned

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    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.
     
  10. Dan1988 Thinks he's going off his nut

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    Katharevousa/Ancient Greek I can understand, but at least dhimotiki (and its descendant, Modern Greek) is much simpler than katharevousa.
     
  11. Keenir Banned

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    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.
     
  12. Tyr air in space

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    Its Greek now? I thought the myth was it was German or English?
     
  13. 67th Tigers Banned

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    *An* official language. English would also remain an official language.
     
  14. Abdul Hadi Pasha Banned

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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.
     
  15. Father Maryland Enemy of Neo Secesh Everywhere

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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.
     
  16. Jord839 Well-Known Member

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    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.
     
  17. Venusian Si Well-Known Member

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    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.:rolleyes::p
     
  18. Susano Banned

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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.
     
  19. Nikephoros Banned

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    That is all it takes to start an Urban Legend.
     
  20. Leo Caesius Banned

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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.