Linked by Thom Holwerda on Sun 25th Oct 2009 12:51 UTC
Editorial A couple of years ago, a professor at my university had a very interesting thought exchange with the class I was in. We were a small group, and I knew most of them, they were my friends. Anyway, we had a talk about language purism - not an unimportant subject if you study English in The Netherlands.
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RE[2]: Fallacy
by rexstuff on Sun 25th Oct 2009 21:40 UTC in reply to "RE: Fallacy"
rexstuff
Member since:
2007-04-06

For the foreseeable future. The same was said of Latin in times of the Imperium Romanum.


True. But I think this is different. English has penetrated too deeply into our global society, particularly with regards to technology.

I point to the apocryphal story regarding Linus and his kernel. In an interview, he was asked why he commented the code in English, as opposed to his native Finnish(?). He was reportedly a little surprised by the question, and claimed that it never even occurred to him to do otherwise.

English has the richest technical vocabulary. For instance, (almost) every programming language is based in some form on English, even ones developed in non-English countries. Even were the US to implode tomorrow, that sort of momentum would be difficult to overcome.

There is a connected-ness today that didn't exist in the Roman times. Everyone is communicating instantly, all the time. And when it's across linguistic borders, the common language is almost always English. And, of course, Latin was only supreme within the bounds of the Empire, whereas English is truly Global.

I suppose we could come with some pretty extreme scenarios where English falls from its perch to be replaced by another, but I think we're past the tipping point - English will continue to grow as the dominant language, and eventually will become the acknowledged language of the Human Race.

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