Nashville English Only amendment fails

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The Nashville English Only amendment whose chief proponent gave as justification for it the un-fact that some California state legislators do not speak English has been voted down by a substantial margin, 41,752 to 32,144. Congratulations to the people of Nashville.

[Thanks to Jon Weinberg for the pointer.]


  1. Uly said,

    January 25, 2009 @ 1:30 am

    What should it matter if California state legislators speak English or Spanish or Klingon or whatever? Nashville is in Tennessee, isn't it?

  2. Andrew said,

    January 25, 2009 @ 1:43 am

    Uly, the article linked at "un-fact" and the comments attached to it should provide all the context you need.

    Anyway, it seems to me that while 44% support does constitute a defeat, it's not nearly substantial enough. Okay, it's a referendum, you have to account for wackos — but in a sane world it still would have been shot down 10-to-1.

  3. Uly said,

    January 25, 2009 @ 2:02 am

    Yes, I know that it's not true, but the real question is why it should matter even if it *were* true.

  4. Ryan Denzer-King said,

    January 25, 2009 @ 2:56 am

    As a former resident of Nashville, TN, and an erstwhile protestor of ridiculous things city hall tried to pass while I was there, I applaud this decision. Oh yeah, and I appreciate the heck out of it as a linguist also.

  5. Mark F. said,

    January 25, 2009 @ 8:25 am


    If you accept, for the sake of argument, the perspective of the people proposing the initiative, then the reason it would matter if the un-fact about California were true is CA was being used as an example of the depths to which Nashville might descend if action weren't taken soon. It's not an obviously fallacious argument. If you think some other locale is farther along some curve than you are, and you don't like where the other town has ended up, then it makes sense to take some kind of action.

  6. Daniel von Brighoff said,

    January 25, 2009 @ 9:21 pm

    I first read about the result on BBC News. My favourite tidbit from the article (aside from the offhand dissing of Nashville implicit in the headline "US city rejects English-only law") was this: "Nashville has … the largest community of Kurdish Americans in the US – about 11,000[.]" 11,000 Kurds in Nashville (or upwards of 14,000 depending which estimate you trust)? Who knew? Apparently more people in town than you might imagine: "It's a source of pride for a lot of Nashvillians," said Meryl Taylor, manager of the Metro Services Refugee Program. "You hear it all the time: 'We have the largest Kurdish population in the country.' It's funny how they recognize that. It's almost like a sports team." [Source] Given that the current teams are named the Broncs, the Metros, and (god help us) the Sounds, the Nashville Kurds could only amount to an improvement.

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