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Re: OT: New lingua franca upsets French

From:Ollock Ackeop <ollock@...>
Date:Monday, January 26, 2009, 16:47
I think he's describing a real phenomenon, but in a truly hilarious (or if
you're not so generous, infuriating, way).

>>"Personally, I sympathise greatly with defenders of the French language. I
think it is true that culturally the world will be diminished if one monolithic form of discourse squashes the rest. But then I am also a realist." Oh, is English really going to wipe out all other languages? Obviously France for one, is pretty proud of its langauge. And I can't imagine it making a huge impact on Chinese -- long history and lots of speakers -- or Spanish -- which is geographically too spread out. Those are just examples, there are plenty of languages that won't be going away any time soon.
>>"But the Englishman was left out because his language was too subtle, too
full of meaning that could not be grasped by the others." Translation: The Englishman used too many idioms and cultural references that they don't bother to teach second-language learners. I don't want to overgeneralize -- I'm sure there are plenty of Englishmen who don't have a linguistic superiority complex. But I've run into the superior attitude a few times personally and it can grate on me. The language may be called English, but it doesn't exclusively belong to England. What we speak in the US is still functionally the same language, as is what is spoken by most competent second-language speakers.
>>"Globish has only 1,500 words and users must avoid humour, metaphor,
abbreviation and anything else that can cause cross-cultural confusion.
>>"They must speak slowly and in short sentences. Funnily enough, he holds
up the late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat as an excellent exponent." Why 1500 words? I'm sure you need some more with technical fields -- which communicate mostly in English. And I'm sure you can find a joke that a Chinese person will understand. Maybe learn a little of their language and you can get something like "Happy &#29275; Year" (Google it, it really does make sense .... honest!!).
>>"After all, if Globish really does take over the planet with its stunted
business-speak, its bland insignificance, its cultureless access-for-all availability, then where does that leave the real English?
>>Will the language of Shakespeare suffer by association, leaving the field
open one day for the resurgence of the other great tongues of the world ? Like French?" OK, so Globish is bland, and that's going to make it less desirable? I wonder if the Romans thought the same about Latin as it became increasingly used by foreigners as liturgical language. Obviously the liturgical brand wouldn't often include those things you don't talk about in church, just as the buisiness brand of English won't include a whole lot of impoliteness that would foul your negotiations ... right? Meh, just another language-going-in-the-crapper story. Don't pay much attention. Sorry, I've been in a ranting mood :P