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For all that modern technology has changed our world and how we communicate with each other; the defining feature of how we communicate is, of course, still our choice of language. Language is much more than a series of boring grammatical rules that occasionally appear to be designed solely to frustrate and anger anyone who dares to try and learn a foreign language.  Language; and crucially our own personal choices in how we use it, can show how a person perceives themselves and also the world around them. One only need to listen to an old BBC broadcast from the 1950’s to realise that is definitely not the same language that you would find today walking around any major British city today. The quintessential 1950’s BBC accent is rife with old-fashioned diction and an accent so sharp and taught it seems that the speaker sees every single word as a constant battle to appear as proper and polished as possible. Today, modern English is defined by its much more American nature with expressions such as “like” and occasionally even “awesome” entering into modern parlance. So, should we all lament the fact that we are no longer refined English speakers with an accent that would be fit for an audience with the Queen?

Obviously, no. First of all, it is a myth to say that 50 or 60 years ago everyone talked with an RP (Received Pronunciation) accent. Just because the BBC wanted the world to believe that everyone talked like a British Gentleman does not make it so. In many ways, languages are like oceans: both are constantly in motion and it would be foolish to think otherwise. So although it would be pointless to ever worry about how a language develops, that is not to say that we don’t currently have a language problem here in modern Europe. This problem, to put on a name on it, is the English language itself.

You only have to look around Europe to see the powerful and damaging effect that the English is having. It is now considered cool and chic (ironically a word with French origins) to use words such as “Food” or “Hot Drinks” on menus in cafes and restaurants in Germany. To be clear, these menus are not designed to be read simply by Anglophone tourists, these menus with their English words are to be read by native German speakers every day. Even the French, who have had long a reputation for being proud of their language and for their poor English skills, now frequently say the English word “e-mail” rather than its French equivalent “courriel”. What does this all amount to? In many ways, it is an invasion by the English language.

At this point I am sure that many are saying how brilliant it is that English is the international language and one can now communicate with everyone. To an extent, this is true. One would be hard-pressed to find a well-educated German, Czech or Pole who speaks absolutely no English. So yes, the spread of English has in a certain sense made travelling for English speaking families much more accessible. However, this comes at a cost. If English continues to spread in the extraordinarily rapid way that it has since the end of the First World War, national cultures could be under threat. One only need look at the example of the French regional languages. 200 years ago, these languages were alive and well and spoken by millions of people every day. Today, with the exception of certain regions such as Corsica and Brittany, many of these languages are all but dead. That is not to say that languages such as German, French and Polish are all doomed to extinction. However, it does mean that fewer and fewer people will experience the thrill and joy of learning a language like French, and who knows? Maybe one day people will talk about German just like people talk about the Irish language today.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (6+ / 0-)

    Just because you shout doesn't mean I have to listen.

    by kev9100 on Fri Jun 27, 2014 at 11:29:48 AM PDT

  •  Insofar as the purpose of language is to (0+ / 0-)

    communicate with each other, this planet really should only have one language.

    Anything else is hopelessly elitist.

    •  I absolutely disagree. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      tardis10, peterfallow, ItsaMathJoke

      For one, almost everyone who says that wants English to be said world language which says a lot in and of itself. Secondly, if we all woke up tomorrow with everyone speaking the same language the world would become a much more boring and bland place.

      Just because you shout doesn't mean I have to listen.

      by kev9100 on Fri Jun 27, 2014 at 11:51:43 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I didn't say that English had to be the (0+ / 0-)

        planetary language, if you think it's boring, pick another!

        Or if the idea is that no matter what language was chosen, having just one would be boring - well that could be easily enough ameliorated by postage stamp collecting or something like that.  There are a vast diversity of those out there after all

        •  True, but I don't think you (0+ / 0-)

          can be serious when you compare stamps to languages. Languages are the foundation of how we communicate every day and stamps are a hobby. And by you own logic, would you have no problem whatsoever if it was decided tomorrow that the world language was Spanish had to learn it?

          Just because you shout doesn't mean I have to listen.

          by kev9100 on Fri Jun 27, 2014 at 12:04:03 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Exactly, languages are the foundation of (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            UberFubarius

            communication - making it important or even urgent that there be a universal standard.

            And your objection to that was that it would be boring - well, in that case spice up your life with a hobby.  If you don't like postage stamp collecting (fair enough!!), try model trains, crocheting, or even gardening.   There are endless varieties available in all of these pursuits.

      •  Ich verstehe kein Englisch (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        msdobie

        Censorship is rogue government.

        by scott5js on Fri Jun 27, 2014 at 02:02:37 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Actually, France still officially thinks it should (0+ / 0-)

        be French, and the Catholic Church still uses Latin.

        Back off, man. I'm a logician.—GOPBusters™

        by Mokurai on Fri Jun 27, 2014 at 03:28:06 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Hmm, Now That We Have Computers (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      tardis10

      we can live with many complications that in prior circumstances would've been too burdensome. I wouldn't be the first to muse that even the Soviet massively planned economy might be workable given today's amount of information processing (not recommending it though).

      For many uses, human and even translation is fast and accurate enough. I even do some export business through translation services myself. We're probably not ready for critical realtime multilingual collaborations such as tele-robotic surgery or nuclear attack negotiation, but we're getting there.

      But even "one" language doesn't solve everything.

      We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

      by Gooserock on Fri Jun 27, 2014 at 12:06:31 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Communicating with others is not the only purpose (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Uncle Moji, denig, Ahianne, ItsaMathJoke

      of language. And equally important function is communicating with oneself, in other words: thinking. We think in words, and the words we know and the grammatical and syntactical rules we use to manipulate those words forms the basis of our thinking about things.

      Learning another language is also learning another way to think.

      This is a good thing. A single language, world wide, would remove a certain diversity to thinking which keeps the human race flexible and able to respond to crises.

      "The problems of incompetent, corrupt, corporatist government are incompetence, corruption and corporatism, not government." Jerome a Paris

      by Orinoco on Fri Jun 27, 2014 at 12:36:37 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Is that supposed to be snark? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Ahianne

      I ask because your statement makes no sense to me.

      Throughout recorded history every empire has imposed its language on all conquered peoples and on all of its neighbors, treating itself as the elite and everybody else as slaves. And you say that having more than one language is elitist?

      Back off, man. I'm a logician.—GOPBusters™

      by Mokurai on Fri Jun 27, 2014 at 03:02:06 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yes absolutely the ability to learn (0+ / 0-)

        more than one language is elitist.

        The lower strata of society rarely has that opportunity.

        •  Completely severed from reality (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          kev9100

          My grandfather knew Polish, Lithuanian, Russian, Hebrew, and Yiddish as a child, and became fluent in English after immigrating. The ability to learn languages is inherent. The opportunity to be taught languages at expensive schools is elitist.

          Back off, man. I'm a logician.—GOPBusters™

          by Mokurai on Fri Jun 27, 2014 at 11:28:03 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  It is important to realize that the French (10+ / 0-)

    government took action to marginalize/eliminate some of those minority languages beginning in the Napoleonic period.

    English has become the second language of choice for Europeans. Fifty years ago, many Poles learned German or Russian as a second language. Today, English is the second language of the younger generations. The Japanese all learn English beginning in junior high school.

    I am a member of the Worked Bone Research Group, a small section of a larger scientific society. Even though there are only a few first-language English speakers in the group, nearly all our presentations are in English. The French, the Germans, the central Europeans, the Latin Americans, and the Chinese have all learned English as their second language. I speak French fairly well, but I don't get to use it that often. We met in France a few years ago, and I asked a question in French to one of the speakers. I was asked to translate it into English by the Germans!

    •  Very true. (0+ / 0-)

      Even until very recently the French government has treated the regional languages in a very poor fashion. There is nothing with people learning English as foreign language. The problem is that eventually, people will give up learning any other language. That is the real threat.

      Just because you shout doesn't mean I have to listen.

      by kev9100 on Fri Jun 27, 2014 at 11:53:32 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I am not so sure about that. All three of my (0+ / 0-)

        kids were required to complete an intermediate-level foreign language requirement as part of their undergraduate programs. They graduated in 2006, 2007, and 2014.

      •  I do not know what will happen with everyday (0+ / 0-)

        languages, of which Ethnologue describes more than 7,000. Certainly well over 6,000 of them are at risk. More than half of all known languages have fewer than 7,000 speakers. Only 305 languages have as many as a million speakers.

        English is definitely the language of science. There is no single language of diplomacy, which is conducted in a mix of the UN languages and assorted regional languages. English is certainly in first place globally.

        As long as religions are tied to particular languages, those languages will continue in use in some form. Some of the languages tied to various religions are Sanskrit (Hinduism and Buddhism), Pali (Buddhism), Hebrew (Judaism), Greek (Greek Orthodox Christianity), Latin (Catholic Christianity), and Arabic (Islam).

        It would make sense for the world to come to an arrangement comparable to Switzerland, where every schoolchild has to learn to speak two or three languages, and becoming fluent in four is quite common. Similarly, Denmark, the Netherlands, and some others require twelve years of their national language plus English in schools, with options for others. There are eight languages with more than 100 million speakers, none of which is going away any time soon, and all of which have important literatures.

        In many places, it is common for people to speak one or more local languages, an official national language, and an international language used as the language of instruction in schools. For example, in Rwanda it used to be local language/Kinyarwanda/French, but the shift from French to English is nearly complete.

        I work with One Laptop Per Child and its partner Sugar Labs on education, where there are over a hundred languages being used.

        Back off, man. I'm a logician.—GOPBusters™

        by Mokurai on Fri Jun 27, 2014 at 10:11:27 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  This has been the case in every empire we know of (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      blue jersey mom

      One of the earliest well-recorded cases is the Babylonian Captivity of Israel, where the Jews were removed from their land, and when they returned were speaking Aramaic rather than Hebrew, which they never went back to, and kept only as a language of Scripture and liturgy.

      Back off, man. I'm a logician.—GOPBusters™

      by Mokurai on Fri Jun 27, 2014 at 03:48:22 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Damaging, schmamaging (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Kevskos

    Language evolves.  English is the new Latin and it will influence everything it touches.  I'll bet we see lots of new Chinese loanwords as China matures and globalizes its culture.

    National cultures evolve and more than a couple of aspects of many national cultures (bigotry, misogyny) could stand to be expunged.

    Proverbs 29:7 “The righteous care about justice for the poor, but the wicked have no such concern.”

    by nightsweat on Fri Jun 27, 2014 at 11:53:34 AM PDT

    •  As I said, languages evolve and that is (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Meteor Blades

      not a problem. The issue lies when it goes beyond evolution and a language, with its encompassing culture, seeks to dominate other languages.

      Just because you shout doesn't mean I have to listen.

      by kev9100 on Fri Jun 27, 2014 at 12:06:53 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  The effect is automatic, with or without (0+ / 0-)

        an intention to do so, as with Greek in Alexander's empire and successor states; Latin throughout the Roman Empire; Arabic in the various Caliphates; Italian during the Renaissance; Turkish in the Ottoman Empire; Spanish, Portuguese, French, Dutch, and English in the Age of European Empire; Russian in the Soviet Union, and English today.

        Back off, man. I'm a logician.—GOPBusters™

        by Mokurai on Fri Jun 27, 2014 at 10:29:48 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  There are also been some very successful (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    vcmvo2, Uncle Moji, Ahianne

    language revitalization movements, including Hebrew in Israel and Hawaiian Language in Hawai'i. These rely heavily on education--ulpan programs in Israel and Hawaiian language immersion schools in Hawai'i. I can speak some very basic Hawaiian, and I was able to learn the language through on-line programs offered by the Kahemameha Schools.

    •  Another interesting of this would be (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      blue jersey mom

      the Catalan language in Catalonia.

      Just because you shout doesn't mean I have to listen.

      by kev9100 on Fri Jun 27, 2014 at 12:15:57 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  And there has been a revival of Irish (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      blue jersey mom, Uncle Moji, Ahianne

      Gaelic.

      I speak French as a second language and when I was in France in March everyone there spoke French with me, except for some people who wanted to brush up on their English!

      It was cooperative and interesting. I met one man who spoke no English at all. He is a professor of economics at Strasbourg and we had no trouble communicating at all. At the end of the evening somehow he even communicate with my husband who speaks nothing but English. It was very interesting.

      Blessed are the hearts that can bend; for they can never be broken Albert Camus

      by vcmvo2 on Fri Jun 27, 2014 at 12:19:30 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yes, we have an Irish studies minor, including (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        vcmvo2, Ahianne

        Irish language, at our university.

        •  That's good to hear (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          blue jersey mom, Garrett

          I think languages are flourishing not being reduced.

          Blessed are the hearts that can bend; for they can never be broken Albert Camus

          by vcmvo2 on Fri Jun 27, 2014 at 03:07:02 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  A study that says otherwise (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Ahianne
            It is a highly valuable body of evidence, leaving no room to doubt that the entirety of the world’s languages—not just their number, but also the linguistic and cultural diversity they represent—is being severely diminished. For a host of complex reasons, people are abandoning their mother tongues and switching to other languages, almost always ones with larger numbers of speakers; thereby, more and more people are being concentrated into fewer and fewer languages.

            Index of Language Diversity

            Their number, is that language diversity is down 20% since 1970.

            I'm not necessarily agreeing with it or the methodology. Just reporting what they say.

            •  Oh I think that is probably (0+ / 0-)

              right, dialects are being dropped as say Chinese (mandarin) is more prevalent and used more often than many of the smaller groups of people that are subsumed in the "Chinese" umbrella. Mongolian is one sub-set of that group that has fought back to keep it's status and it's own language. But Mongolia has many minerals that make it of value to China so it is allowed to maintain its language without being pressured.

              But French is not going away in favor of English. German is a major language.

              I guess what I mean is throughout history the prevalent languages change depending on which civilization is on top. Greek at one time was the main language, then it changed to Latin. Now It's English. It will change again I'm certain.

              Blessed are the hearts that can bend; for they can never be broken Albert Camus

              by vcmvo2 on Fri Jun 27, 2014 at 06:01:55 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

  •  In defense of the Queen's English (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Joffan, penguins4peace
    So, should we all lament the fact that we are no longer refined English speakers with an accent that would be fit for an audience with the Queen?
    I lament it.  Last week I watched a PBS broadcast called The Escape Artist.  I did not understand half of what was said, especially by the main character.  As with so many productions nowadays, many actors seem to mumble or speak with thick accents out of some misguided notion of verisimilitude.  I thought it was a dumb story anyway, so I eventually quit watching it.

    Then I decided to watch Henry V, the one made in 1944 with Lawrence Olivier.  I steeled myself for the ordeal.  I had never read the play or seen it produced before, so I wondered if I would be able to understand what was being said.  I was shocked.  The diction was excellent.  I understood what they were saying!  It is a sad commentary to note that the Elizabethan English of a Shakespearean play set in the 1940s is easier to understand than a lot of the English being spoken by actors in recent productions set in the twenty-first century.

    There is a scene in Henry V where two women are speaking French.  I could tell that one woman was teaching the other English, the one who would eventually marry the King of England.  So I was not concerned that I did not understand what they were saying.  But then it hit me.  I had never heard French spoken with such clarity.  I may have forgotten what a lot of French words mean since I studied it in college, but I could pick out the words, which is more than I can say for a lot of the English in The Escape Artist.

    If you prefer poor diction because it is more realistic, you are welcome to it.  I look forward to the day when people realize that understanding what is being said is more important than letting poor diction be a mark of realism.

  •  I've noticed that a lot of English-speaking (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    se portland, Uncle Moji, kev9100

    people use punctuation improperly, yet are quite adept as using it in the form of 'emoticons'!

    ;-)

    "Trust me... I've been right before." ~ Tea party patriot

    by Calvino Partigiani on Fri Jun 27, 2014 at 12:32:14 PM PDT

    •  Punctuation is a-whole-nother issue (3+ / 0-)

      and I love punctuation, as most people could infer from my comments, but it isn't language - it's an attempt to capture the meaning that would be missing by putting just the words down.

      As you can probably tell, I hold spoken language as the principal form. I understand the need for punctuation and some rules to control the logical meaning of written language, but the imprecision - sorry, "variability" - of spoken English will always make punctuation a difficult game to regulate.

      So, emoticons? - just an extension of the same concept.

      This is not a sig-line.

      by Joffan on Fri Jun 27, 2014 at 12:51:18 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  emoticons are not necessarily bad (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Calvino Partigiani, Ahianne

      A trend I have noticed is that emoticons and abbreviation like 'LOL', 'BFF', 'FYI', 'FAQ', and 'OMG', having meaning for people no matter what their native language. It seems to me there is a symbolic written language that is emerging that is universally understood.

      They are symbols (not so different than pictographs) that convey meaning to the reader regardless of their phonetic origin. It could allow you to write to a Japanese speaking person in a meaningful way without either of you knowing the others language. It is not there yet, but emoticons might not be a bad written language for at least causal written communication.

      p.s. what would your high school English teacher say to you about your usage of 'a lot'. :) :) :)

      “We can always count on the Americans to do the right thing, after they have exhausted all the other possibilities.” - Winston Chuchill

      by se portland on Fri Jun 27, 2014 at 01:09:00 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I'm not sure why you think this is bad (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    se portland, Sir Roderick, Ahianne

    You write:

    You only have to look around Europe to see the powerful and damaging effect that the English is having. It is now considered cool and chic (ironically a word with French origins) to use words such as “Food” or “Hot Drinks” on menus in cafes and restaurants in Germany. To be clear, these menus are not designed to be read simply by Anglophone tourists, these menus with their English words are to be read by native German speakers every day. Even the French, who have had long a reputation for being proud of their language and for their poor English skills, now frequently say the English word “e-mail” rather than its French equivalent “courriel”.
    So, there are English loanwords in lots of other languages now. So what? There are plenty of French and Spanish loanwords in English, too.  Is it BAD that we have absorbed words and phrases such as "chic," "deja vu," "a la mode," "angst," "putz," "rodeo," "ersatz," "plaza," and many, many others? If it's not, then why is it a bad thing that English loan words have made their way into other languages?

    As you note, languages, ALL languages, are constantly changing, and one of the ways languages in close proximity to each other change is that they lend words and phrases back and forth. Worrying about the "purity" of any language is an utter waste of time, because there is no language in the world that is pure. If there were, that language would be a fossil.

    Bin Laden is dead. GM and Chrysler are alive.

    by leevank on Fri Jun 27, 2014 at 01:12:25 PM PDT

    •  'Sky' is the Norse word for 'clouds' (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Ahianne, leevank

      I once took a class entitled "English as a World Language'. English is a really bastard language with many fathers.

      Rice University has a good roundup of many of the 'loanwords' that have made it into English.

      LoanwordsMajor Periods of Borrowingin the History of English

      In Old English, Latin words that made it into English include 'city', 'circle', 'master', and 'paper'.

      In Middle English it explodes. Scandinavia adds 'cake', 'egg', 'skin', and 'skirt'. The Norman Conquest change the language  profoundly, 'jail', 'judge', and 'jury'. French words for food include beef, boil, broil, butcher, dine, fry, mutton, pork, poultry, roast,
      salmon, stew, and veal. (I got tired of putting quotation marks in).

      The list is far too long, but if you live in the boondocks you can thank the Pacific Islanders.

      “We can always count on the Americans to do the right thing, after they have exhausted all the other possibilities.” - Winston Chuchill

      by se portland on Fri Jun 27, 2014 at 01:40:14 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I'm not exactly sure what the point of your diary (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ahianne

    is.  Is it to lament the erosion of "pure" languages by the adoption of Americanized phrases or words?  Is this a reflection on those who choose to add "Food"  and "Hot Drinks" to their German menus?  Or is this some indictment of American English and its "awesomeness"?  Do you mean this diary to decry the loss of heritage languages?   Ask for a commitment to revitalize those languages for the future because you see them as under threat by American English?  Or is this about diction and lazy pronunciation?  

    Forgive me for my inability to comprehend the thrust of your diary, but I am confused.  

    I am a native American English speaker.  I, theoretically, read or understand or speak, fragments of other languages, but have concentrated on a foolish mastery of English.  I am not there, and I suspect I will never be there.  I, too, at times, lament the inroads "new words" or "phrases" or new spellings have made on English.  Some of them are technical, or a result of texting, or whatever it is that the kids do.  

    I think all languages are in constant flux.  And as much as I lament some of the changes, I also celebrate new and exciting words, some recently made-up (like "cromulent" by David X Cohen, a Simpson's television show comedy writer in 1996) and some nouns that become adverbs or adjectives.  As a poet, I find the English language complex (from Latin complexus), perturbing (Old French perturber, Latin pertubare), and beautiful (Old French biaute, beltet, Latin bellus, replacing in the Old English wlite).  

    While I share you lament about the travesty of the incursion of the English  "Food" and "Hot Drinks" on German menus, both words have their roots as "proto-German" words.  I think this is a particular case of the the circle closing.

    "Out of Many, One Nation." This is the great promise of these United States of America -9.75 -6.87

    by Uncle Moji on Fri Jun 27, 2014 at 01:17:37 PM PDT

    •  What I tried to get across (0+ / 0-)

      was not so much a fear of languages taking up English words per se, but more of the idea that English is becoming too "dominant" of a language and thus, damaging other languages.  

      Just because you shout doesn't mean I have to listen.

      by kev9100 on Fri Jun 27, 2014 at 04:31:45 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I think your premise is a bit off track (0+ / 0-)

        though I take your general sense that any dominant language, when it is not merely a lingua franca but is used or applied as a tool to assert dominion or hegemony, causing the obliteration or disappearance of an existing language AND culture is a bad thing.

        It's just not clear to me that, as you describe it use, English in these instances, in and of itself, is doing these things.  Perhaps that is my failure.

        You may know that in the 7th century, the lingua franca was Arabic, commerce was conducted in Arabic as far as to China, India, Southern Europe, Central Asia, etc.  Arabic was also the lingua franca of science and diplomacy up untill the 1200s, and I believe most of the world's books were written in Arabic.

        Arabic disappeared from that dominance, as did Latin, as will English.

        I grew up with what is called a pidgin English or more properly a creole.  So I understand the need of diverse communities who do not share a language to invent a means to share their lives.  

        I am not in favor of English-only movements even within English speaking countries, because I find most of them are populated by fearful racists and xenophobes for whom language is an assertion of power, that may be in its last throes.  But I see the use of English (particularly in the German menu) not primarily as an overt tool of dominance but as a passive reflection a current world where the US remains a world economic and military and advertising power that will pass with time, and sometime in the future we  (or generations that follow) will be having this conversation in some hybrid pidgin of Mandarin, and someone will, rightly, mourn the passing of what we used to call English as a forgotten arcane relic of the past.

        I am still not sure that I quite get your thrust, but good for you for trying.

        "Out of Many, One Nation." This is the great promise of these United States of America -9.75 -6.87

        by Uncle Moji on Fri Jun 27, 2014 at 05:50:05 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  So is this about English prevalence, or diction, (0+ / 0-)

    or maybe the decline of communication through subjective definitions?

    English is spoken just about everywhere for three reasons:
    Humans require a common means to communicate regardless of origin.
    Air travel, English is the common language of flight and every airport in the world gives instructions to pilots in English.
    The World Wide Web. We invented the internet and an Englishman invented the web to ride on it. English still makes up the overwhelming majority of on-line traffic. In addition, every high-level computer language was developed in English, so if you want to wield the magic, you have to learn the language.

    "Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities." - Voltaire

    by Greyhound on Fri Jun 27, 2014 at 05:59:11 PM PDT

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