Anyone still clinging to the idea that the United States is a strictly English-speaking nation might want to take a look at the top-trending topics on Twitter right now.
All Sunday morning, the trending rail has been filled with various Mother's Day-related hashtags and topics, ranging from the expected ("Mother's Day") to the Hallmark (#MomKnowsBest, "Dear Mama") to the not-so-Hallmark ("MILFs"). "Father's Day" also popped up at one point, but we can just pretend that never happened because really, men? Today?
Two terms that caught my eye were "Moms" and "Madres," two equivalent words differentiated only by language.
At around 9:30 am, "Moms" was leading "Madres" as the second most tweeted-about topic in the country. An hour later, the Spanish-language term had taken over the #2 position, trailing only "Mother's Day," a switch that one could argue highlights how bilingual the US is today.
While only about 20 percent of American adults use Twitter at all, the social-media site can still be viewed as a barometer for what our nation is thinking and saying—or, in the case of "Madres," what language its population is speaking.
As of 2011, 37.6 million people in the US above the age of five spoke Spanish at home, making it the second most-spoken non-English language in the nation. And that number is only likely to increase as the American people continue to diversify, reaching a projected majority-minority status by 2043 with an estimated Hispanic population of 128.8 million by 2060.
All this is to say that the 2016 presidential candidates would be wise not to pull a Rick Santorum and feature English-language advocacy as a part of their campaign's platform in the coming months. Oh, and Feliz Día de las Madres/Happy Mother's Day, everybody.
Bad at filling out bios seeks same.