Saturday, June 10, 2006

The Irony of Geno's English Only Policy

If you haven't heard about the Great Geno's English Only controversy, here's a quick synopsis:
Bistec con queso? Not at Geno's Steaks.

An English-only ordering policy has thrust one of Philadelphia's best-known cheesesteak joints into the national immigration debate.

Situated in a South Philadelphia immigrant neighborhood, Geno's--which with its chief rival, Pat's King of Steaks, forms the epicenter of an area called "ground zero for cheesesteaks"--has posted small signs telling customers, "This Is AMERICA: WHEN ORDERING `SPEAK ENGLISH."

So what is the great irony, you say? Well, it is this. Across the street at Pat's King of Steaks, you have to order in Philadelphian or they send you to the back of the line to try again. Since Philadelphian is an accent of English, the English only policy has already been in place in the Philly Cheese Steak world, the difference being that at Pat's, it is part of their well known schtick, whereas at Geno's, there is a sign. And God knows what a problem signs are for some people. You know, sign, sign everywhere a sign...

No comments: