Category:
Languages

Official Language of the State of Illinois

June 19, 1923: The State of Illinois passed an act declaring "American" (as opposed to "English") to be the state's official language.

The act was proposed by Senator Frank J. Ryan of Chicago who was "fed up" with American being called English. Ryan, in turn, got the idea from Montana Congressman Washington McCormick, who had tried, but failed, to get American designated as the national language.

In 1969 the Illinois legislature revised the statute to make English, not American, the official state language.

More info: languagepolicy.net

The Bend Bulletin (Bend, Oregon) - Jan 31, 1923

Posted By: Alex - Mon Mar 14, 2016 - Comments (20)
Category: Languages, 1920s

Heaveno!

Leonso Canales of Kingsville, Texas began his campaign to replace the greeting "Hello" with the less satanic "Heaveno" in 1988, but he got really serious about it in 1997 when he placed ads in the local paper showing the word "Hello" scratched out and replaced with "Heaveno." That same year, his campaign received official support when the commissioners of Kleberg County voted unanimously to designate "Heaveno" as the county's official greeting.

Canales died in Sep 2014, and with his departure the wind seems to have been taken out of the sails of the Heaveno movement. The website heaveno.com has been abandoned (although the old site is preserved in the Wayback Machine).

The Encyclopedia of American Loons includes a brief entry about Canales, and his son posted a memorial to him on YouTube (embedded below).



Standard-Speaker (Hazleton, Pennsylvania) - Jan 17, 1997



Posted By: Alex - Mon Dec 07, 2015 - Comments (5)
Category: Languages, Religion, 1990s

Don’t Call It Junk Mail

As George Orwell noted, political language often strives "to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind" — or pure junk, in this case.

Spartanburg Herald Journal - Apr 24, 1989

Posted By: Alex - Tue Oct 27, 2015 - Comments (5)
Category: Government, Languages, 1980s

Kusköy, Turkey:  The Whistling Village

Posted By: Paul - Thu Jun 25, 2015 - Comments (4)
Category: Languages, Regionalism, Asia, Europe

Incubus, the Esperanto Movie

According to wikipedia, there are only four full-length films shot entirely in Esperanto. One of these four is the 1966 black-and-white horror film Incubus, starring William Shatner.

The film had an LA premiere, but then, partly because of the Esperanto dialogue, it never found a distributor except in France and fell into obscurity. For years it was believed that all copies of the film had disappeared, until the 1990s when a copy was found in France.

Here's the trailer:



And here's the full-length film:

Posted By: Alex - Tue Jun 16, 2015 - Comments (7)
Category: Horror, Languages, Movies, 1960s

How To Improve Immigrants’ English

Posted By: Paul - Thu Nov 20, 2014 - Comments (5)
Category: Languages, Foreign Customs, 1940s, Asia, Europe

Latin Valediction

Back in 1978, Lidia Mostovy was chosen to deliver the valedictory address at the 99th commencement of Frank H. Morrell High School, so she decided to give it in Latin. Her speech began: "Olim Alexander Magnus dixit: 'Meis parentibus vitam debeo, meis magistris, vitam bonam.'"

She explained that she "wanted to add dignity to the graduation exercises and... draw attention to the high school's Latin program. 'A lot of people ask why take Latin — you're not going to use it. So now I will.'"

Source: The Ukrainian Weekly - June 25, 1978 (page 11).

Since I took Latin throughout high school, and even participated in our high school's Latin play, I'm sympathetic to what she did. And I guess it probably wasn't any more or less boring than any other high school valediction, just because no one could understand it.


Posted By: Alex - Tue Aug 05, 2014 - Comments (12)
Category: Education, Languages, 1970s

English for Dirty Houses



I'm never inviting this woman to my house again!

Posted By: Paul - Mon Apr 07, 2014 - Comments (5)
Category: Domestic, Education, Languages

Fox in Socks Audio



From a 1966 vinyl record, featuring the voice of Robby the Robot.

Posted By: Paul - Thu Feb 06, 2014 - Comments (3)
Category: Anthropomorphism, Languages, Pop Art, Surrealism, Books, 1960s

The Backwards Multilingual Singing Career of Jeanette

Because the USA market for music is so huge, singers from other countries are always trying to break in, abandoning their native languages for English.

Maurice Chevalier. Charles Aznavour. Julio Iglesias. Shakira. The list goes on and on.

What's stranger is someone who abandons a career singing in native English to become a star abroad.

Such was the case of Jeanette.

Born in the UK and raised in America, she tried to be a folkie.



But failing that, she moved to Europe and became a great success, singing mostly in Spanish.



Of course, looking like a beautiful flower child didn't hurt!

Posted By: Paul - Sun Sep 22, 2013 - Comments (10)
Category: Languages, Music, Bohemians, Beatniks, Hippies and Slackers, 1960s, 1970s, Europe, North America

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Alex is the creator and curator of the Museum of Hoaxes. He's also the author of various weird, non-fiction books such as Elephants on Acid.

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