Ross Olson's Web Site

Social Issues: Letters

From: Ross Olson [ross{at}]
Sent: Sunday, October 03, 2010
To: Editor Star Tribune (
Subject: English

You can put a gossip columnist on the op-ed page but that doesn’t make him an intellectual (Nick
Coleman, “Press ‘one’ to interact in English” 10/3). Of course people come here speaking all sorts of
languages and there were languages here before Europeans arrived. The missing point is that
language unites or divides a people. China understands this and although children may grow up
speaking any of a dozen or more mutually unintelligible dialects of Chinese, Mandarin has been made
the official language which they all learn. But it goes even deeper than language, because in the past
immigrants came wanting to assimilate with the “American way of life” as well as learn the majority
language. Today we see many who do not have that goal or vision.

Ross Olson

Send comments to me at ross{at}

The URL for this document is