We're too loose with the hyphen on nationalities

Posted8/1/2014 5:01 AM

I like newspapers. I grew up in a household that received a morning paper, an evening paper and a local weekly paper. Now my husband and I find it hard to start our day without reading the Daily Herald. After reading recent headlines on the Opinion page, I have to remind myself that coming from the left or right they are just that -- opinions.

I sometimes get a bigger jolt from the columnists than I do from my morning caffeine-loaded coffee. I can basically count on not agreeing with Ruben Navarrette, but I read his column every time it is on the Opinion page. I found it especially jarring that he recently referred to himself as a Mexican-American even though he and his parents were born in the United States. Following this guideline I am a Czechoslovakian-Polish-German-American and my husband is an English-Dutch-Irish-American. Expostulating this format, my children are multi-nationality-Americans, and because they married other multi-nationality-Americans, my grandchildren are beyond description in the 300 words allotted to letter writers.

Perhaps the mindset of Mr. Navarrette and other immigrants who do not think of themselves as Americans with no hyphenation is part of the reason for anti-immigrant feelings. Let's take that hyphen off the keyboard.

Diana Simms

Mount Prospect

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