The LA Times reports on the Philadelphia cheesesteak place that refuses to serve customers who don’t order in English. The message to customers is This is America. When Ordering “Speak English”. Just a few observations.
- I’m not sure what rule of English requires, or even permits, quote marks around the last two words in that sentence. I’m no prescriptivist, so I’m happy to be shown that this falls under some generally followed pattern, but it’s no pattern I’m familiar with.
- I’m very pleased that no place had a similar sign when I was trying to get fed in Paris using what could, charitably, be described as schoolboy French, as long as the schoolboy in question spent every class watching football rather than, say, studying French. And that pleasure is not just because if I had seen such a sign I’d have been like, Holy Cow, the Americans have captured Paris.
- This being the LA Times, they have to describe what a cheesesteak is: “a cholesterol-delivery device consisting of grilled strips of beef, melted cheese, onions and peppers on an Italian roll.” They also misquote the sign by removing the errant quote marks and adding a ‘please’. Those polite Southern Californians!