Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Is 'Oklahoma' Now Banned? The State's Name is (Oops!) Not Really English

Now that Oklahoma voters have voted to make English the state's official language (state question 751), some unhappy consequences could be coming down the pike.

As it happens, "Oklahoma" is not an English word. Neither is "Tulsa" or "Sapulpa" or "Shawnee" or "Tahlequah"—all Native American words!

And what about "El Reno"—sounds like Spanish to us. Then there's "Prague," which, if we recall correctly, is a town named after one of those horrible European socialist countries! Yikes!

And "Chouteau," which sound pretty dang French!

No, we don't expect any of these place names to be changed anytime soon. But now that we have the official English-language purity act in place, who knows how far it will go?

Example: Oklahoma's National Guard has "corporals" and "lieutenants"—military terms that are French!

Somebody better call Rep. Randy Terrill, the Moore legislator who backed this state question, Terrill may have a lot of explaining to do.


Horizon Aviation & Machining, Inc said...

What drivel, The intent of such a law is that all forms, signs and such be printed in English, and that Americans not be required to furnish interpreters for non-english speaking persons. It does not pertain to the origin of words or names, if it did we would not be able to use anything but native American dialects, as "English" as we know it is derived from languages all over the world. MORONS

Alternative Tulsa said...

We know the intent of the law. What we are suggesting is that the law could have unintended consequences, some of which are quite unpredictable. As you correctly point out, English is made up of words from many languages. We are simply wondering how far the Oklahoma "English police" will take this business, since words come and go over time. On future state forms and signs, who's to say what is truly English?

Beyond that, we appreciate the way you elevate the level of civil discourse by calling us "MORONS."

Tulsan said...

At least he was able to spell it correctly.