Blowhards in Philly

Republican candidate Rudy Giuliani was in town tonight, to make an appearance at Geno's Steaks, famous for the sign, "This is America, when ordering speak English." I live just down the street from Geno's, so I went down to snap some photos. The owner of Geno's, Joey Vento, is a little guy with a big attitude. (Vento is Italian for "wind," by the way.) Joey has a Hummer and several Harleys, which he displays in a store front with his confederate flag, Elvis figurine and a Frankenstein manakin wearing a T-shirt that says, "I'm an American, so I order in English." Geno's is a tourist magnet, so it attracts plenty of foreigners, but the sign makes little sense, since what language would anyone order in but English? Of the roughly 6,900 languages in the world, hundreds are endangered, with one disappearing every two weeks. Approximately 600 became extinct in the last century. English is not threatened, obviously. It is the most dominant, most ubiquitous language ever, more than Latin, French or Spanish, so there's no need to harass anyone into learning it. People worldwide are already hounded and seduced into memorizing, at the very least, "Yes. No. Thank you. Sexy. Excuse me. I'm sorry."


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