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Rep King (R-Iowa) is today’s contender for asshole of the day. (Incidentally this is not the Rep King who had the brilliant idea to hold hearings on radical Islam. Paging Joe McCarthy, anyone? The United States Congress currently boasts two separate assholes named King. Round of applause, everyone.)
Rep King-from-Iowa has teamed up with co-asshole Jim Inhofe (R-Oklahoma) to introduce the English Language Unity Act of 2011, requiring that all US government functions be conducted in English.
“A common language is the most powerful unifying force known throughout history,” King said in a release. “We need to encourage assimilation of all legal immigrants in each generation”
So I guess multiculturalism is gone, and we are now the Borg. Well done. Russ, of Filtered News, makes an excellent point.
If we’re going to go “English only” we’re not going to have much left to say. English gets at least half of its common words from non-Anglo-Saxon stock, and I don’t want to give up half my vocabulary.
I second his point. My favorite English etymology is buccaneer, which derives from the word barbecuer (you totally knew they were related and if you didn’t then you don’t know enough about pirates). Buccaneer is a bastardization of the French word boucanier, which refers to a person on the islands of Hispaniola and Tortuga who hunted oxen and boars and smoked the meat in a barbecue frame known in French as a boucain. People who barbecue meat in a boucain are boucainiers. The original barbecuers/boucaniers seem to have subsequently adopted a more remunerative way of life (piracy) which accounts for the new meaning given to the word. So buccaneers were once barbecue pit masters who turned to piracy. This explains so much about both. (From the AHD, the best source for fun word derivations other than the OED)
So if we throw out all “non-English” words we lose both barbecue and buccaneers. I’m not sure I’m willing to sacrifice them. This man threatens the two core pillars of MacGuffinhood- ribs and piracy. He must be stopped. Life without BBQ or piracy is simply not worth living.
Yours, in an Anglo-Saxon huff
Update: rep King-from-Iowa may not be the radical Islam guy but he is the guy who thinks that NOAA funding for the tsunami warning system should be cut because we “over react” to natural disasters.
“The tsunami warning centers… I would ask people to come forward with the facts on this — how badly do we need them and do the tragic events in Japan give us a different perspective. I would look at it from a different perspective. I don’t know I would at this point know say that I’d be willing to make that change. I think we often over-react to emergencies, especially natural disasters, before we assess the limit of the damage.”
Of course, King is just following in the footsteps of Ron Paul who thinks that our reaction is “overblown” and Bill O’Reilly who said that “worldwide media is hyping the nuke situation in Japan a bit too much.” Well Bill, when you have a nuclear reactor potentially melting down 20 miles from your house, and leaking radiation all over the tiny area of arable land on which most of your food is grown, then I’ll give one single solitary shit what you think. Via ThinkProgress. Oh and you know what Rep King? If there was any justice in the world you would have forfeited your right to any federal relief for Iowa’s annual spring floods.