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¿Habla Español?

I received my June 2006 PM today, went to my favorite columnist, Ellen Rohr, and was greatly disappointed. She wants all of us to learn Spanish. Excuse me, I do not live in a Spanish-speaking country. My native language is American. If I ever choose to live in Mexico or any other Spanish-speaking country, then I will do my best to be able to make myself known to the native Spanish-speaking people. Is it too much to ask that people coming to America do the same? Why should I have to learn something I don't want to learn, because the Hispanics refuse to learn to communicate in the language of the country they chose to live in? As the old saying goes, when in Rome, do as the Romans do. Learn and speak the language, and rejoice that America is still the greatest country in the world.

Lora Chapman
Chapman Plumbing Inc.
Warsaw, Ind.

Please allow me to be the 478th e-mailer to say, “I don't want to learn Spanish; let them learn English.” I have absolutely no use for their language. I already speak the world's lingua franca. It wouldn't be a bad idea, though, to suggest that our children learn Mandarin Chinese.

[We never did hear back from 'Vincent' after he sent us this e-mail. It helps to include your last name, business name, city and state when sending PM letters.]

Ellen Rohr responds: Learning to speak Spanish is an option if you want to increase your ability to communicate with folks who speak Spanish. If you hire Spanish-speaking workers, you should be able to communicate with them. If you don't, then don't. My opinion: The labor pool is shrinking. Small shop owners are clamoring to find right stuff people to hire and help them grow their companies. If you speak Spanish, you may find that to be a competitive advantage.

Of course, it is to everyone's advantage to learn to speak English in the USA. But I see advantages to learning Spanish. That's why I am taking lessons.

Thanks for writing. This is an issue about which people have varying opinions, and it is good to keep the dialogue going.

Back To Basics

I am a big fan of Carol Fey and have her books and like her style about teaching basic electricity. But the column is named Hydronic Controls and I would like to start reading about Hydronic Controls. I am getting bored with this basic house wiring. I am a technical trainer myself and the stuff in this column is for a basic electricity class. If someone is reading a hydronic controls column, I would think they already know basic electricity.

Randal S. Ripley
Total Air Supply
Nashua, N.H.

Carol Fey responds: Thanks for taking the time to write! You're right; it's time to move on from the house wiring. The reason I've been doing the electricity stuff is that I get a lot of questions about basic electricity. Guys get intimidated by what the electrician does, and then think controls must be really hard since electricians sometimes have trouble with them.


Due to a graphic error, the Truck Of The Month in PM's July issue did not print correctly. You can find the proper story on Precision Plumbing Services, Carol Stream, Ill., on page 82 in this issue. PM apologizes - especially to owner Matt Morse and his team - for any confusion.