In your recent editorial, "Make English official language," you cited a Deseret News poll as showing Utah support for making English the state's "official language." That poll asked citizens, "Do you favor or oppose designating English as the state's official language?"

This poll question, and your editorial opinion, failed to recognize that the proposed "English-only" bill faced by the Utah Legislature does not simply recognize English as Utah's official language. Instead, the bill's main result would be to prevent state and local governments from providing government services in a language other than English. The bill even goes so far as to prohibit entities that are merely regulated by state or local government from issuing non-English publications.I propose you conduct a second poll using questions that address the reality of what Utah faces with our proposed English-only bill. A couple of sample questions for your consideration are: (1) In San Juan County, where approximately 40 percent of the residents are Navajo, should state and local governments be prevented from providing any government services in the Navajo language? (2) If a state or city agency that provides information regarding mortgage (or utility, or construction, pick your industry) services determines that it would be more cost-effective to provide information in multiple languages, should the agency have the ability to do so?

At the end of your editorial, you suggested that the current English-Only proposal "might need some redrafting."' Here, we agree. I suggest we remove all restrictions on our local governments and shorten it from its current 500-plus words to say something simple like: "Utah designates Ute, Navajo and English as Utah's official languages. Utah recognizes English as the common language of our residents' economic and civic lives. Utah welcomes the social and economic benefits that result from the multilingual abilities of many of our residents and communities. This law does not require or prevent any government service from being provided in a language other than English."

Stirling Adams

Orem