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Why is 'Press 1 for English' such a big deal?
Marc Munroe Dion's op-ed column: Why Press 1 For English?

Date published: 1/6/2014

FALL RIVER, Mass.

--I see it or hear it every so often.

"Press 1 for English?!"

"This is America!!!! Why do we have to Press 1 for English?"

So, I'm over at my mother's house the other day and I'm calling the pharmacy to fill some prescriptions for her, and I hear the recorded voice say, "Press 1 for English."

So I do.

And I have an epiphany, a very rare thing among 56-year-old men who work for daily newspapers.

And, after the manner of my testy, urban kind, I say to myself, "How hard is it to press 1 for English? What are you, stupid?"

That's it? That's what's ruining the country? You people can't figure out how to press "1"?

A few months ago, I take my wife out to dinner for the anniversary--we get some Italian food in a quaint little restaurant with a pool table in the middle of the dining room, and then we go to a bar for a couple of drinks. She's drinking chardonnay, which both of us can pronounce, and I'm drinking "Paddy," an Irish whiskey with a tremendous ease of pronunciation.

And a guy in a leather jacket spots me, a guy I haven't seen in a while, and he comes over to me and he's had a couple drinks and he hugs me. He's lived in America for maybe 30 years, but he was born in a country where men hug each other and he goes to kiss me on the cheek, because his people do that, too; but, like I said, he's had a couple drinks, so he misses and ends up kissing me on the neck, high up, near where my beard starts.


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