The Instigator
yolobutiwill4ever
Con (against)
Tied
0 Points
The Contender
Stupidwalrus
Pro (for)
Tied
0 Points

should English be the official language for the United States?

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 7/23/2012 Category: Society
Updated: 4 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 2,521 times Debate No: 24834
Debate Rounds (3)
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yolobutiwill4ever

Con

this is my first time with a debate, but I wanted to discuss this topic with a willing person because me and my friend had recently been talking about it, and we both disagree on the matter. What we will be debating, is whether or not English should be the official language of the United States. I will be taking the con side saying why it shouldn't be the official language and my opponent will be taking the pro side, saying why it should be the official language.
Stupidwalrus

Pro

I assume first round is acceptance, as my opponent brought up no arguments.

I accept.
Debate Round No. 1
yolobutiwill4ever

Con

thank you for accepting.

America is known for it's diversity, and acceptance for it. to make English the official language of the United states would seem as though we don't accept other languages, and that English is better than all the other languages the U.S. is known for its ability to have people from countries everywhere and still remain distinctly American. Just because English is widely spoken throughout America does not mean that we should make it the official language, that would be like making Justin Bieber the official pop singer in America today.
Stupidwalrus

Pro

I apologize for the late response, I've been fairly busy.

Anyways, onto my arguments. Rather than contentions, I will list a few and give a brief explanation.

1) Making English our official language will create an incentive to learn it. While I agree that a diverse immigrant community benefits the U.S., it would be far better if these immigrant populations could converse with the english speaking majority of the country.
2) Official English will unite Americans. Out of 280 million people over the age of 5, only 4.5 million do not speak English at all. Making English our official language will give 98.3% of our country something to have in common, and an easier way to communicate to each other.
3) The federal government needs an official language. As of right now, someone can be elected into political office while only speaking a minority language. Imagine congressmen trying to pass bills when they can't converse with each other. Setting English as the official language for government business prevents this from happening.
4) English already is the official language of 30 states. Making it the official language for the U.S. as a whole won't have any negative repurcussions, as none have been seen within these 30 states.

Onto my opponents arguments, which consist of three statements:

"To make English the official language of the United states would seem as though we don't accept other languages, and that English is better than all the other languages"

My opponent provided no line of reasoning to back up this claim. Making English our official language does not force people to learn English, it just offers them an incentive to. People are still able to get government services in their own languages, and are still free to speak their own language. Such languages are sure to be designated as "minority languages," which is the term other countries use for languages which are spoken by minorities.

"the U.S. is known for its ability to have people from countries everywhere and still remain distinctly American."

I agree. However, my opponent again did not properly back up this claim. Making English our official language won't take away the American identity that immigrants hold on to. If anything, it will strengthen it by giving them a language in common with the rest of the country.

"Just because English is widely spoken throughout America does not mean that we should make it the official language, that would be like making Justin Bieber the official pop singer in America today."

I agree. English should not be the official language because the majority of the country speaks it. However, it should be the official language if it is the primary language of our federal government, which it is. This is, of course, in addition to my 1st and 2nd arguments.

My opponent's example really doesn't relate to this debate. An official pop singer title is completely meaningless, while an official language influences which language the government uses to operate. Governments need to run in one language to stay effective.

Overall, my opponent seems to misunderstand what an official language is and what it represents. The U.S. government already operates as if English is our official language. The act of making it official is where the benefits (arguments 1 and 2) come in. It also prevents our government from being plagued with different languages and unable to communicate with each other. It does not, however, change languages offered in school, or in local communities. It does not force people to speak English, as the government will still offer services to minorities in different languages. It does not harm people who don't speak English is any way.

I eagerly await my opponent's response.



Debate Round No. 2
yolobutiwill4ever

Con

yolobutiwill4ever forfeited this round.
Stupidwalrus

Pro

Vote pro.
Debate Round No. 3
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