Today I got mail from the Republican National Committee — a survey they want me to fill out and (of course) an attached contribution form. I don't know why they sent it to me, because in spite of their urging me "and other grassroots Republicans" to respond to their survey, I am not a registered Republican. Maybe it's because my neighborhood is mostly Republican, though our nearest neighbors are bigwigs in the local Libertarian party. In any case, many of the survey questions contain presuppositions that make them hard to answer. They don't ask me if I've stopped beating my wife, er, spouse, but they do want to know if (for instance) I "believe that Barack Obama's nominees for federal courts should be immediately and unquestionably approved for their lifetime appointments by the U.S. Senate".
And they ask, "Should English be the official language of the United States?" They don't say what this has to do with the President's agenda; it's totally irrelevant to his agenda, as far as I know. But I don't know all that much: maybe Obama is campaigning to eradicate English from the country and I just haven't noticed? I do know that I'm proud to belong to an organization, the Linguistic Society of America, that has come out strongly in opposition to the Official English movement. In 1987 the LSA membership voted to approve an eloquent Resolution to this effect, proposed by Language Log's Geoff Nunberg (though he wasn't a Language Logger at the time, because Language Log didn't yet exist). Read it here: