Shorter Peggy Noonan

We Need to Talk: America can’t afford to lose its common language.

Above: Wrote the spoken introduction to the song, “Sadie,” by the Spinners

  • Immigrants shoulder a noble burden to do the jobs that Americans do not want to do, such as learning Spanish.

‘Shorter’ concept created by Daniel Davies and perfected by Elton Beard.


Comments: 39


¿Qué el infierno ella ahora está hablando?


How nice of Pegster, to take time out of her busy shopping trip at Bloomie’s, to condescend to “pity” a woman who’s unable to spend the weekend in the Hamptons.


Noonan II: The Heartening
I love that she tells us what she wrote immediately after failing to console the poor little brown woman, i.e. if I can’t “hearten” this miserable wretch with my monolingual point of light then there must be something wrong (a kinder, gentler nativism). If you do not have an English chit, you will not receive a gift!
Because I Peggy am old, white and privileged, I cannot form the words “Vaya con dios,” unless I’m singing along to Slim Whit(e)man.


What’s the hidden story of her friend who’s reversal of fortune has doomed her to working as a shop girl in a sweltering discount store, while Peggy basks in the coolness of her airconditioned flat?

She’s out here on a day when everybody else, as she well knows–the streets are not crowded–is at a ballgame or the beach. Everyone else is off.

Everyone who matters, I guess, huh Peg?

Smiling Mortician

Europe is lucky: All those different cultures and languages are bundled up all close to each other and next to each other. They learn each other’s languages with ease. We have oceans to the left and right, and vastness.

Oh, I get it now. Our education system sucks because of the damned oceans. And don’t get me started on the vastness. It totally screws up our innate ability to learn.

in China they speak Chinese.

Clearly she’s never been in a train station in Fukien watching a guy from Beijing trying to talk to someone from Guangzhou.

In Canada they have two national languages, but that’s one reason Canada often seems silly.


Quoth Peg:

I went into Bloomingdale’s and wrote these words: “We must speak the same language so we can hearten each other.”

Errr…….I’m sorry; what was that? Let me try that again…..

I went into Bloomingdale’s and wrote these words: “We must speak the same language so we can hearten each other.”

Nope. Still gibberish.

How are we all going to speak the same language when I can’t even find a good English-to-Noonan dictionary?


We have oceans to the left and right, and vastness. For us, or at least the older of us, learning another language is still a leap. As a nation we probably should leap more.

Was there a “write Peggy Noonan’s next column” contest at freerepublic that I didn’t hear about? This is sub-Grogan here.

Oh, and why is the fact that there are oceans to the left and right of the US the only thing taught in wingnut geography classes?


There are few things you can rely on in this turbulent world, but one is the tendency of [Peggy Noonan & HER ILK] to use language poorly, even when discussing language.

Smiling Mortician

Um, I actually responded to the silly-Canada thing. Something clever like “Oh, shut up, Peggy.” But WordPress ate it. I blame the Bering Sea.


So that’s why the Swiss are so boring– who can dream with so many languages?!?
!!primenumberfactor!1 (shrug and unctuous smile from Peg, polite applause from gin-pickled National Review cruisegoers.)


She has a big pile of advertisements in her hand, and puts one toward me.

She’s one of a small army of advertisement giver-outers in New York.

Didn’t this Noonan woman once write speeches for a president? Good grief, did she have to pawn her writing skill so she could shop at Bloomie’s?

I went into Bloomingdale’s and wrote these words: “We must speak the same language so we can hearten each other.”

I look forward to the reports of Peggy Noonan having to come back to Bloomingdale’s to scrub her gibberish graffiti off the walls.


Europeans are fortunate to have many different languages right across their close borders. Naturally, learning several languages is the answer to their communication problem and poses no threat to their national identities.
Americans must stuggle with the fact that we have one different language which is impossible for me to understand. sometimes spoken in my own cities, even on my exclusive block of Manahattan. This has never before happened in Manahattan in the history of the island, or 231 years or whatever. That’s a really, really long time to me. Naturally the solution to my problem is for others to learn all the nuances of my language. It is the Ameircan way, non?


Now there’s a face that’s just begging to be smacked with a banana cream pie. And her little keyboard, too.


Now there’s a face that’s just begging to be smacked with a banana cream pie. And her little keyboard, too.

OK, people, please keep showing forthwith admirable restraint in refraining from making the Goldsteinesque comments to which this so leaves open the door. I am mightily struggling to do my part in this, as well. Thank you.


Oh, and why is the fact that there are oceans to the left and right of the US the only thing taught in wingnut geography classes?

Well, that and “Oceans no longer protect us!”

(OMG! Who took the oceans??? Damn Messikins!)


Only a pie the size of the moon could drown out the smarm shooting out from that face.


Mama, la loca me asusta.

¡Salga, Loca! ¡Salga!

Time for Peggy to retire, maybe? To spend more time with the dolphins.

a different brad

Really, I mean, if the help won’t learn english how are they to understand it when we condescend to them and pretend we think they’re human.
Peggy was denied the opportunity to pretend to herself she’s a good person. And she’s a wealthy white good republican. This cannot stand.
Also, Peggy’s dog needs to learn english, too.


I’m not certain I’m even buying the underlying premise. As a good old fashioned american I have always been taught that it’s important to learn to cuss in as many languages as possible, going all the way back to classic Latin…



going all the way back to classic Latin…
e.g. Matrem tuam futuo!


Con disculpas para Azucarar a 17:07 y la Mujer Benigno a 19:58 pero yo no puedo resistir:

“Mierda Santa! Necesito un nuevo trabajo. Puedo tolerar el calor pero ellos no me pagan bastante a ser acosado por mujeres bebidas y locas con fetiches de pie.”


And Pig Latin too, you othermay uckerfays.


in China they speak Chinese.

good lord. how proud the WSJ must be.


OMG Lawnguylander!

¡No me había recuerdo de eso!

I vaguely remembered the dolphin thing but not the Reagan foot fetish. I think that’s because I consciously try to block out all memory of the Reagan years.

I say again, these people are mad.


There’s really no such thing as a “Chinese” language. There’s mandarin, with a few flavors of various regional dialects and obscurities. Much like Japan, where the smaller, especially southern, islands have “official” languages that are almost completely different from Japanese.
Then you have Briton, which is just a world of fun.

The funny thing is, I’ve known a lot of latinos in my day. Spend three years in a restaurant ( a year and a half of which being the only non-minority in the kitchen) and that will tend to happen. And I can’t think of a single one who didn’t want to learn English. Most of them had at least a proficient enough level to get around for day to day stuff.

People tend to forget that English is a pretty hard language to learn. We take it for granted, cause we had the child sponge brain advantage, but for people starting from scratch? Not easy. A lot of rules that make no sense, and a lot of rules that… are more like guidelines then actual rules.


*Looks nobly from atop prop buffalo*

A noble spirit enheartens the most boozed up Reaganophile!


Love that pic with the beatific smile. Bet it took tens of seconds before you could screen capture her with that look on her face.


Hers is a face that you just know says things like “thanks so much” a lot.


Man, is she drunk when she writes this stuff? I’m not being snarky or rhetorical either. I’m seriously wondering.


We have oceans to the left and right,

Depends on whether you’re looking towards the Gulf of Mexico or Canada, doesn’t it, Pegaloon?


All I learned from working kitchens is “Mas platos, por favor” and “Yo quero se Madre.”


The busboys would always laugh when I said that; I don’t know why…


in China they speak Chinese

So you say, Round Eye Gwai-lo.


“Sadie” by Johnny Farnham seems more appropriate.

Qetesh the Abyssinian

“Sadie” by Johnny Farnham seems more appropriate.

Yoiks! There’s an Aussie on the board! And one from mine own (roughly, at least) generation, as well. Hail, fellow, well met.

So you say, Round Eye Gwai-lo.

Haiyah. Chi-sin. Hell, there’s at least two or three different Chinese languages used just in Hong Kong, which is one of the tiniest administrative areas in the known universe (admittedly with a massive population density).

And most of the Scandinavians I’ve met are fluent in at least three or four languages, and usually have a smattering of others. I’ve been told (Urban Legend Alert) that Icelanders are unusually facile at learning languages, because their own language is such a complete bastard of a thing that if they can learn that, learning others comes as a relief. I’m told (by the same informant) that the high suicide rate in Iceland is not due to SAD (Seasonal Affective Depression, because of minimal daylight) but to the fact that the language is so bloody hard.

Yes, those of us who don’t have furr’ners for neighbours might not have such a need to learn languages, but why don’t folk like her want to learn ’em? Is it because book-larnin’ makes you smelly and probably gay as well? Is it because Real Men (TM) don’t read? Learning languages, whether you’re good at it or not, is fun. As the estimable mikey says, you can learn to swear in lots of different languages. If you’re cerebral, you can discover linguistic constructs that hint at the way that culture thinks. You can get the simple pleasure that comes from learning something, and maybe even achieving mastery.

Jeebus, my uncle, who lived in a country town all his life, as first a mechanic and then an opal miner, started learning languages when he was 50, just for fun. He’s now got a smattering of about 6 or 8, and got on like a house on fire with most of the people at Coober Pedy (opal town), because he made the effort to speak in their own language and they appreciated that. Except the Germans, for some reason, but the Northern Chinese, Italians, Greeks, Russians, and the very few Spanish up there adopted him into their families. He spoke it badly, in some cases, but he tried, and they tried to help him, and everyone was happy.

So what’s wrong with Missy Peggster? Oh, maybe she’s used up all her brain and can’t learn anything new or her head will a’splode.

Sigh. Wottawinkle.


Thanks, Lawnguylander.
‘I first saw President Reagan as a foot, highly polished brown cordovan wagging merrily on a hassock. I spied it through the door. It was a beautiful foot, sleek. Such casual elegance and clean lines! But not a big foot, not formidable, maybe a little …frail. I imagined cradling it in my arms, protecting it from unsmooth roads.”
Peggy Noonan, speechwriter for the Reagan administration

Foot fetish anyone? What is it with these wingnuts and suppressed sexual obsessions? And they think lefties are perverts!


And this mysterious Little Brown Woman even apparently had *gasp* Indian Blood! Good Lord, Peggy, however did you survive? Weren’t you scared?


I imagine some Dutch scribe took pen to parchment to bemoan the Englsh speakers who took over New Amsterdam years before Bloomingdale’s sprouted from the soil of an island with oceans to the left and right.
Did I write that badly enough for Ms Noonan’s editors? It would hearten me to think so.


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