The Print Blog

Special News Brief: Amendment to HR 997 Could Benefit Printers

Posted by on Apr 1, 2015 in Print Marketing | Comments Off

“Politics makes strange bedfellows” is a quotation from famous White House correspondent Helen Thomas. Today’s post breaks a personal rule never to write about politics in a blog post, but the proposed legislation is so fascinating and potentially important for the printing industry that I can’t resist reporting about it. Please accept this request for forgiveness, if not permission.

HR 997, the English Unity Act of 2015, isn’t a new piece of legislation. It’s been submitted before by Representative Steve King (R, Iowa), but it usually dies in committee.Representative King The thrust of the proposed law is straightforward – to codify the English language as the official language in the U.S. In essence, the bill states that all citizens of the United States should be able to read and understand English language text of U.S. laws, and that English language speech and comprehension will be a criteria for citizenship.

For multiple reasons, previous renditions of the bill have never made it to a full committee hearing.  This year may be different. King intends to introduce an amendment to the bill today on the House floor that may change it’s chances for success, and provide a real boon to the printing industry in the process.

“We think that it’s not enough for English to be the American language.” states King, “The American people complain that Congress needs to shift direction. Well, this is it. We’re proposing a bottoms up amendment to change English to a truly American version. Our new American English will be read from right to left, bottom to top.”

The benefits to the printing industry are readily apparent. Every published document will need to be reprinted in the new American English, with text reading from right to left.  The initial response from the industry is quite positive.  “This will truly be a disruptive event,” states Paul Gardner, a print industry innovator, “we’ve been needing something to change the direction of the industry and this is it.”

Established printers, like Joe Littlebear of Big Sky Letterpress, were less effusive. “We’re old school,” he quips, “been setting type backwards for years, so that’s no change. Wait a minute . . . does this mean that we’ll need to set type forwards? “

In the past, there’s been no bi-partisan support for the English language measure, but that may well change in the 114th Congress. Representative UnderwoodHouse Minority Whip, Frank Underwood (D, SC), has expressed his approval of the amended bill. “We’re all for the proposed change,” states Underwood, “in fact we’re going to support a similar effort in the seating of the House. We’ll simply shift sides. Democrats will sit on the right and Republicans on the left. In an aside, Underwood was heard to comment,” they won’t know what’s up or down after I’ve finished with them.”

Other interests may also offer support. R. E. Flection, executive director of the North American Glass Association (NAGAss) voiced his industry’s enthusiasm for the measure. “We expect a considerable short-term uptick in the market for mirrors when the final bill goes into effect. It will take some time for the American public to get used to the change. We’ll be there at the outset and mirrors will remain useful for translation of the Queen’s English into the new American English version.

It’s expected that opposition will be registered from representatives of other media interests. An unnamed spokesperson for CBS News expressed their reservations, “We’re taking a wait and see attitude. We’re ok with a reversal of the written language. It’s another matter if we’re required to start speaking backwards.”


As a service to our readers, a translated version the article is printed below in the new American English. Start at the bottom, read, and enjoy! (!slooF lirpA yppaH)

”.sdrawkcab gnikaeps trats ot deriuqer er’ew fi rettam rehtona s’tI .egaugnal nettirw eht fo lasrever a htiw ko er’eW .edutitta ees dna tiaw a gnikat er’eW“ ,snoitavreser rieht desserpxe sweN SBC rof nosrepsekops demannu nA .stseretni aidem rehto fo sevitatneserper morf deretsiger eb lliw noitisoppo taht detcepxe s’tI

.noisrev hsilgnE naciremA wen eht otni hsilgnE s’neeuQ eht fo noitalsnart rof lufesu niamer lliw srorrim dna testuo eht ta ereht eb ll’eW .egnahc eht ot desu teg ot cilbup naciremA eht rof emit emos ekat lliw tI .tceffe otni seog llib lanif eht nehw srorrim rof tekram eht ni kcitpu mret-trohs elbaredisnoc a tcepxe eW“ .erusaem eht rof msaisuhtne s’yrtsudni sih deciov noitaicossA ssalG naciremA htroN eht fo rotcerid evitucexe ,noitcelF .E .R .troppus reffo osla yam stseretni rehtO

”.meht htiw dehsinif ev’I retfa nwod ro pu s’tahw wonk t’now yeht ”,tnemmoc ot draeh saw doowrednU ,edisa na nI doowrednU evitatneserpeR.tfel eht no snacilbupeR dna thgir eht no tis lliw starcomeD .sedis tfihs ylpmis ll’eW .esuoH eht fo gnitaes eht ni troffe ralimis a troppus ot gniog er’ew tcaf ni“ ,doowrednU setats ”,egnahc desoporp eht rof lla er’eW“ .llib dednema eht fo lavorppa sih desserpxe emoc sah ,)CS ,D( doowrednU knarF ,pihW ytironiM esuoH .ssergnoC ht411 eht ni egnahc llew yam taht tub ,erusaem egaugnal hsilgnE eht rof troppus nasitrap-ib on neeb s’ereht ,tsap eht nI

“ ?sdrawrof epyt tes ot deen ll’ew taht naem siht seod . . . etunim a tiaW .egnahc on s’taht os ,sraey rof sdrawkcab epyt gnittes neeb“ ,spiuq eh ”,loohcs dlo er’eW“ .evisuffe ssel erew ,sserpretteL ykS giB fo raebelttiL eoJ ekil ,sretnirp dehsilbatsE

”.ti si siht dna yrtsudni eht fo noitcerid eht egnahc ot gnihtemos gnideen neeb ev’ew“ ,tnirP nosduH ta noitavonnI fo rotceriD ,rendraG luaP setats ”,tneve evitpursid a eb ylurt lliw sihT“  .evitisop etiuq si yrtsudni eht morf esnopser laitini ehT  .tfel ot thgir morf gnidaer txet htiw ,hsilgnE naciremA wen eht ni detnirper eb ot deen lliw tnemucod dehsilbup yrevE .tnerappa era yrtsudni gnitnirp eht ot stifeneb ehT

”.tfel ot thgir morf daer eb lliw hsilgnE naciremA wen ruO .noisrev naciremA ylurt a ot hsilgnE egnahc ot tnemdnema na gnisoporp er’eW .ti si siht ,lleW .noitcerid tfihs ot sdeen ssergnoC taht nialpmoc elpoep naciremA ehT“ ,gniK setats ”.egaugnal naciremA eht eb ot hsilgnE rof hguone ton s’ti taht kniht eW“

.ssecorp eht ni yrtsudni gnitnirp eht ot noob laer a edivorp dna ,sseccus rof secnahc s’ti egnahc yam taht roolf esuoh eht no yadot llib eht ot tnemdnema na ecudortni ot sdnetni gniK gniK evitatneserpeR.tnereffid eb yam raey siht tub ,snosaer doog elpitlum rof ,gniraeh eettimmoc lluf a ot ti edam reven evah llib eht fo snoitidner suoiverP

.pihsnezitic rof airetirc a eb lliw noisneherpmoc dna hceeps egaugnal hsilgnE taht dna ,swal .S.U fo txet egaugnal hsilgnE dnatsrednu dna daer ot elba eb dluohs setatS detinU eht fo snezitic lla taht setats llib eht ,ecnesse nI .S.U eht ni egaugnal laiciffo eht sa egaugnal hsilgnE eht yfidoc ot – drawrofthgiarts si wal desoporp eht fo tsurht ehT .eettimmoc ni seid yllausu ti tub ,)awoI ,R( gniK evetS evitatneserpeR ytraP aeT yb erofeb dettimbus neeb s’tI .noitalsigel fo eceip wen a t’nsi ,5102 fo tcA ytinU hsilgnE eht ,799 RH