The Right to Speak English

There’s a line of Supreme Court cases going back to Meyer v. Nebraska, 262 U.S. 390 (1923), recognizing the right to speak one’s own language rather than a language compelled by the state. The right is grounded in the due process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.

I speak English, and the dialect I use does not include any of the new-fangled pronouns being imagined these days. Now, its seems to me that someone who wants to use newly invented forms of speech has the right to use that language—and that I have a right to mine—and that neither of us has the right to impose our language on the other.

4 thoughts on “The Right to Speak English


  1. At my job the fact that I speak only english overrides my BS degree, my years of experience as a business owner and a manager of people, Speaking only Spanish doesn’t carry said handicap


    • I have a speaking knowledge of three other languages beside English and a reading knowledge of two more, but my preferred (and native) language is English.


  2. When I was in the Air Force in the 70’s I could get fed, drunk, and laid in six languages. Nowadays I can barely manage the first two in English.


  3. You’d get in a whole lot of trouble in NZ right now. See, over the years, a few Maori words have crept into common usage. So about halfway through last year, the government (under the guise of COVID relief) paid the media to start pumping in new words wholesale, regardless of whether it makes sense to or not. So we have a constant stream of reporting that makes little to no sense, talking about places that don’t exist.

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