Monday, June 20

 

Saturday, June 18

 

Friday, June 17

 

Thursday, June 16

 

Wednesday, June 15

 

Tuesday, June 14

The Debunker: Did German Almost Become the National Language?

by Ken Jennings

Since 2014, June has been Immigrant Heritage Month in the United States, a time for Americans to remember our status as a nation of newcomers. So celebrate Immigrant Heritage Month along with us, until President Trump cancels it! After all, if you're here and you're not fully Native American, we guarantee that either you or an ancestor qualifies! As an extra bonus, we have Ken Jennings of Jeopardy! fame (and English/Welsh/Scotch-Irish stock) to school us about all the things we thought we knew about our ocean-crossing forebears.

The Debunker: Did German Almost Become the National Language?

There's a legend that's been circulating since at least the 1840s on both sides of the Atlantic, from travel literature to school lectures to Ann Landers columns. According to these authorities, in 1794, Congress came within one vote of making German the official language of the United States. When I heard first heard this story growing up, it seemed strange but not impossible. In the mists of early federal experimentation, we almost had all kinds of weird stuff. Ben Franklin once wrote that the turkey should be our national bird. John Adams wanted to call the president "Your Highness." The American rulebook was still being written back then—why not stick it to the English by bailing on their language? After all, fully nine percent of early Americans were already native German speakers, making them the nation's biggest linguistic minority.

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Monday, June 13

Music Monday: What You Won't Do For Love

by Scott Lydon


Happy Music Monday! Today Scott's in the mood to hear one song over and over again. Get ready. He's doin' it for love.

Bobby Caldwell - What You Won't Do For Love

 

This soulful single was so popular that it's the first song Google recommends when you type in "Bobby Caldwell." The weird thing is, Caldwell wrote it super fast and expected a different song to be his breakout hit! Also here's another weird thing: Bobby Caldwell is white. This fact was hidden from the public in 1978 until after the song began to chart, and even today some fans just assume he's a black guy because of the sound. Caldwell released a bunch of records over the years and had a pretty good career (especially in Japan) but no song ever touched the stars like this one did.

Want proof? Four more cover versions comin' right up. Then it'll be your turn to post a few.

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