This Week's View

by Deanna Lee Birkholm

September 24th, 2001


Every time I write the words fly fisher, I have to check myself. Do I need to use a hyphen? If it's fly-fishing community it gets a hyphen. The same with fly tying. Sometimes there is a hyphen and sometimes not. I'm confessing here I was not an English major, my degree is in chemistry. My spelling is also very bad and I keep a little spell checker, a dictionary, and the computer spell checker very close.

There are times, however, where the hyphen doesn't really add to the thought.

We watch tv, read and listen to the radio. Our country is trying to get itself back on track. My husband JC and I are struggling with the same feelings and problems you are.

We as a country are probably more united than we have been since World War II. There were those who felt we should not be involved in that one too. But had we not fought we would live in a much different world today. It has probably crossed your mind that countries under heavy military rule aren't bothered much by terrorists. They don't have our freedom either, but then they really don't have a choice.

We all want to see America pull together. The political strife is over for now. It will begin again, but for now no one in Washington D.C., wants to appear to be against stopping terrorism.

I have a couple of suggestions.

It may appear simplistic on the surface, but think about it a bit before you write me off as a nut-case. Note the use of "nut-case." Perhaps I should have said "mentally challenged." One of the problems as I see it, is the toning down, soft-pedaling of our speech. There is nothing wrong with being polite or considerate - I encourage it, but there is something wrong with everything being judged (by whom?) as "politically correct." Let's get rid of "politically correct."

More importantly, let's get rid of HYPHENS!

Chinese-American, Japanese-American, Mexican-American, Asian-American, Arab-American, African-American, are all divisive terms which separate those groups from "Americans." They prevent all of us from being one cohesive America. I understand most of the groups I've included want to retain their origins and customs. Some feel they need extra attention for one reason or another. But it seems to me the concept of "one nation, with liberty and justice for all" begs us all to be one nation. It's obvious the terrorists didn't see or accept any differences. They simply wanted to kill as many Americans as possible.

JC says he is an "American-American," he said he adopted that so he wouldn't feel left out. He gave it up though . . . found he was the only one!

Why not try getting rid of those ethnic hyphens? In speaking, the written word and in our minds, we should all work at just being Americans. ~ LadyFisher

If you would like to comment on this or any other article please feel free to post your views on the FAOL Bulletin Board!

Archive of Ladyfisher Articles

[ HOME ]

[ Search ] [ Contact FAOL ] [ Media Kit ] © Notice