Tuesday, April 08, 2008
Never "Press 1 for English"
Private firms can do whatever they want (within limits), and have only to answer to their customers and clients. Most customers choose a firm for products and services based 'pon the quality of those goods, juxtaposed against their cost. That's as it should be.
One of the most annoying trends of our time is the practice of placing a recorded greeting on the answering machine, followed by a request to "Dial 1 for English." I refuse to "Dial--or Press--1 for English."
English has been the semi-official language of all of the various United States for almost all of our history. I'll give exception to the Hispanics native to the Southwestern states, since their ancestors may have lived in those areas when the land was a part of Mexico--although they should, and almost all do speak, read and write English now.
English is the language of technology, of commerce, and of tourism in most of the civilized world, and will likely remain so, if we can stop GW Bush from doing a Jimma Carter on the US Dollar.
Most of the technological marvels we take for granted have been translated from English to other languages; eg automovil, aeroplano, telefono, aire condicionador, refrijerador (Spanish, because that happens to be a language with which I'm familiar). There are similar words for these things in many other languages. Why? Because they were invented, developed and/or most bought and used in English-speaking countries.
A non-English-speaking resident of the United States can almost always count on living a life doing menial work for low pay.
In recognition of these facts, this primitive, but unabashedly agenda-driven tune seems appropriate.
Buenas noches, y mucha buena suerte a todos!