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The Language of Metal Business Signs

Signs indicate that the majority of America's population may one day be Hispanic.

A huge news story today, whether it be on the computer, in the local paper or on television, has to do with immigration reform. Immigration reform is a subject that many people feel passionately about because a major portion of America's population is now Hispanic. Some people believe that people, regardless of their passport country, should be entitled to elementary individual rights such as the ability to have a home and emergency wellness care; others, meanwhile, believe that illegal immigration is out of check and that documented citizens are victimised when their tax dollars pay to fund programs that benefit undocumented people. Also, since Latino Americans mainly speak Spanish and America does not have an appointed language, many folks believe that soon more Americans will speak Spanish than English, the traditional language of the US. This creates a problem of cohesion amongst American citizens.

The controversy in Arizona.

Though immigration reform has been discussed in Congress for years, the first solid effort towards regulation has just recently occurred in Arizona, where the regulator of the state signed a bill that allows police officers to demand official documentation of citizenship from any person whom the officers deem suspect. Some have lauded the efforts of the Arizona government to crack down on illegal immigration, while others believe that this new bill gives law enforcement too much power and violates civil rights. Regardless of your belief on immigration, America is without a doubt undergoing a major cultural shift.

Road signs lead the way.

I have been reading the newspaper and following major news stories since I was little, so I've known about the immigration reform argument for a long time. I recall being just eight years old when I first realized that America's Hispanic population was flourishing. I grew up in a little village on the Eastern seaboard with a 3 hour drive between myself and the nearest big city. Needless to say, I was not on the front lines of the changing face of the USA. In fact, I was not even in my hometown when I made the realization that there was a gigantic demographic of Spanish speaking people in the United States. I was on a trip to Florida and I remember seeing a metal sign on the roadside. The metal sign said "Rest Stop Ahead" in English on the first line, and it said the same phrase in Spanish on the second line. I am a pretty observant person so this experience caught my eye and forced me to pay attention to other metal signs while on my trip to Florida.

Custom metal signs raise the eyebrows.

Soon I started seeing metal business signs scripted in Spanish, too! I don't just mean the metal business sign for McDonald's or some other major corporation trying to sustain a politically correct image. I saw CUSTOM business signs written in Spanish! These custom metal signs always included an English translation of whatever was being advertised, commonly some kind of promotion for a small business. For some reason, the fact that small businesses were advertising in Spanish on metal signs in truth made me recognize for the first time that America is a melting pot of different cultures.

Custom metal signs are a cultural barometer.

Speach reflects culture. Since we, as Americans live in a free country where we can say what we want, most of the time, without fear of repurcussions, companies must be able to reach their target audience in the language of that demographic. As I realised on my vacation, a large segment of the Florida population is Spanish speaking. Thus, the companies advertised in Spanish using personalised metal signage. Custom metal signs indicate cultural changes and will keep on doing so forever.

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