Don't IM, Don't Translate

by Michael S. Kaplan, published on 2007/06/10 19:51 -04:00, original URI:

Bill Poser is spot on in his Language Log post Don't Ask, Don't Translate.

But he also raises an even better aspect of the issue -- the whole "don't ask, don't tell" policy was violated how, here?

My (perhaps naive) understanding of the sham policy was that (in the words of Wikipedia:

The policy also requires that as long as gay or bisexual men and women in the military hide their sexual orientation, commanders are not allowed to investigate their sexuality.

What people do in the privacy of their IM windows certainly does not seem to me to doing anything other than hiding their sexual orientation.

Maybe they should have done their IM chats in Arabic. The irony in firing someone needed to read material while they are writing it would have been even more striking.

What is loophole? That the people doing the snooping were not their superior officers?

I suppose I should not feel too superior here -- I doubt there is a tech company out there with a policy that forbids their security from doing the same kind of snooping in the corporate network space. Though on the other hand I do feel a bit superior since there isn't a policy that discriminates on the basis of sexual orientation.

Getting back to the troops, the need for translators in this space is pretty dire right now. The people who are so in favor of the whole "Don't ask, don't tell" policy aren't supporting our troops. They are barely rising to the level of being an athletic supporter for our troops.


All characters in the Unicode standard, both encoded and unencoded, support this post wholeheartedly, believing that the people behind this policy have no character to speak of.

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