Now, before you go wild with your color printer and run straight down to the local Maserati dealer, pockets overflowing with rainbow-colored Benjamins, we should make it clear that none of this in any way implies that it's OK to produce copies of an existing currency -- that is absolutely, ball-bustingly illegal. You'd likely get less jail time for outright stealing said Maserati, and at least that way you'd get a single joyride out of it first. [Ed. Note: Cracked does not condone stealing a Maserati.]
It Doesn't Establish English As The Official Language
Mario Tama/Getty Images News/Getty Images
It's a common argument among the "tear down the mosques and erect a colossal wall along the border to keep out the White Walkers and, worse, Canadians" crowd: If an immigrant wants to come into this great country of ours and bedeck himself in the finest American flag T-shirt that Walmart has to offer, the least he can do is learn the language -- that language being English, not Press 2 For Spanish, goddammit. Surely, establishing an official language was high on the Framers' to-do list, right?
"OK, Washington votes English ... Jefferson votes French ... and Franklin votes
Franklinese? Goddammit, Ben."
But Actually ...
Not only does the United States of America not have an official language, but the Constitution never once mentions the idea. It simply didn't occur to those writing it -- not when there were more important matters at hand, like abolishing government-imposed tea times and such.
Now, it's true that -- with the obvious exception of tossing the occasional U into the Boston Harbor because we're rebellious like that -- the USA has always mostly spoken the language of our one-time overlords. So it could be argued that, by the simple act of writing the Constitution in English, the whole "official language" thing was implied. Nevertheless, attempts to correct our forefathers' omission and make English official at a federal level have so far floundered like an American trying to order an appetizer in a French bistro.
Noam Galai /Moment/Getty Images
"You have a better chance of us voting to rename them Freedom bistros."
That's probably why tilde-hating politicians have taken the battle stateside: So far 31 states have passed laws declaring English as an official language. Before your racist Uncle Chuck jumps for joy at that statistic, however, we should highlight the "an" in that sentence. Hawaii, for example, has also declared native Hawaiian as an official language, while Alaska declared all 20 of their indigenous languages official. So, really, there's nothing stopping a state with a significant Trekkie population from declaring Klingon official, in which case Uncle Chuck had better hope he possesses superhuman wedgie-giving abilities.
Jacopo is the author of License To Quill, an amazing new novel just as cool as his articles. Abraham is a Mexican lawyer; when he isn't doing law stuff, he writes stuff for fun. You can say hi to him on Twitter, check out his LinkedIn profile, or visit his DeviantArt.
Psst ... want to give us feedback on the super-secret beta launch of the upcoming Cracked spinoff site, Braindrop? Well, simply follow us behind this curtain. Or, you know, click here: Braindrop.
Believe it or not, there's lots of bullshit floating around out there that has no basis in anything but the people who made the stuff up. See what we mean in 5 Things You Won't Believe Aren't In the Bible and 6 Ridiculous Lies You Believe About the Founding of America.
Subscribe to our YouTube channel, and check out 6 Myths You Probably Believe About The American Revolution, and watch other videos you won't see on the site!
Also, follow us on Facebook, and let's be best buddies forever.