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Clip Art Image Description: This clipart picture is of an open history book with pictures of Early Americans. This article is excerpted from the new book, "The Language Wars: A History of Proper English" from Farrar, Straus and Girous. In places where English is used as a second language, its users often perceive it as free from the limitations of their native languages.
The embrace of English in the world’s two most populous countries means that the language is changing. The faculty has a suite of dedicated teaching rooms which are all equipped with projectors and interactive whiteboards. Accelerated Reader is a reading scheme designed to create a culture of reading and to accelerate learning through reading.
They associate it with power and social status, and see it as a supple and sensuous medium for self-expression. Four rooms have sets of laptops for student use and another room is a dedicated media suite.
Further information, including English clinics and revision activities for specific year groups, will be provided. In the twenty-first century the world is becoming more urban and more middle class, and the adoption of English is a symptom of this, for increasingly English serves as the lingua franca of business and popular culture. It is dominant or at least very prominent in other areas such as shipping, diplomacy, computing, medicine and education. But while many of those who do not have a grasp of the language aspire to learn it, there are many others who perceive it as an instrument of oppression, associated not only with imperialism but also with the predations of capitalism and Christianity.
English’s centre of gravity is moving; in fact, in the twenty-first century the language has many centres. Its rise has been assisted by the massive exportation of English as a second language, as well as by the growth of an English-language mass media. It takes no account, for instance, of the various waves of Anglomania that swept much of Europe in the eighteenth century. But it will be apparent that the diffusion of English has had a lot to do with material reward, the media, and its use as a language of instruction. An Indian very likely will (the image is from cricket), but really I should choose my words with greater care. A fuller list might intensify the impression of a whiff of bloodshed.Wherever English has been used, it has lasted. The majority of speakers of Mandarin Chinese live in one country, and, excepting Spain, most Spanish-speakers are in the Americas.



In the colonial period, the languages of settlers dominated the languages of the peoples whose land they seized. There is an argument that the revitalization of minority languages is good for English, because it weakens English’s large rivals and thus removes obstacles to the language’s spread.
Non-native speakers of English often comment that they ?nd conversing with one another easier than sharing talk with native speakers.
So, for instance, the resurgence of Catalan, Basque and Galician weakens Castilian Spanish, making it a less powerful rival to English. Apologists for English invert this argument, claiming that the advance of English is good for minority languages.
Already many people who learn English do so with little or no intention of conversing with its native users.
If I join their conversations, my involvement may prove unwelcome.At the same time, native speakers of English tend to assume that their ability in this potent language makes it unimportant to learn other languages. The colonists’ languages practised a sort of cannibalism, and its legacy is still sharply felt. English is treated with suspicion in many places where it was once the language of the imperial overlords. There is a long history of people using the language for anti-English ends – of creative artists and political ?gures asserting in English their distance from Englishness or Britishness or American-ness.
British companies often miss out on export opportunities because of a lack of relevant language skills. Moreover, there is a chance that a command of English will within twenty or thirty years be regarded as a basic skill for business, and native speakers of the language will no longer enjoy any competitive advantage. When polled in 2005, more than 80 per cent of people in the Netherlands, Denmark and Sweden claimed to be able to speak English.
In India, while English is much used in the media, administration, education and business, there are calls to curb its influence.
The ?gure was around 60 per cent in Finland, 50 per cent in Germany, 30 per cent in France and Italy, and 20 per cent in Spain and Turkey. These ?gures can safely be assumed to have increased. The language’s roots there are colonial, but English connects Indians less to the past than to the future. Already the language is used by more people in India than in any other country, the United States included. Large companies such as British Petroleum (now BP Amoco) have worked with the British Council, funding educational schemes to encourage foreign nationals to learn English. Madhukar Gogate, a retired Indian engineer, has independently come up with an idea for something he too calls Globish. Even as vast amounts are spent on spreading British English, the reality is that English is taking on more and more local colour in the different places where it is used.
Accordingly, while the number of languages in the world is diminishing, the number of Englishes is increasing.Henry Hitchings was born in 1974.


This is supported economically, politically, in education and the media, and sometimes also by military force. Much of the endorsement happens covertly. And as English continues to spread, it seems like a steamroller, squashing whatever gets in its way. Yet its presence shifts the cultural emphases in the lives of those who adopt it, altering their aspirations and expectations.
It is possible to imagine it merely coexisting with other languages, but easy to see that coexistence turning into transcendence. In the second half of the nineteenth century and then especially in the early years of the twentieth, schemes to construct new languages were numerous. Most of these are now forgotten: who remembers Cosmoglossa, Spokil, Mundolingue, Veltparl, Interlingua, Romanizat, Adjuvilo or Molog?
Joseph Schipfer, developer of Communicationssprache, was also known for promoting means of preventing people from being buried alive. Etienne-Paulin Gagne, who devised Monopanglosse, proposed that in time of famine Algerians help their families and friends by exchanging their lives or at least some of their limbs for food, and was willing if necessary to give up his own body to the needy.Only two schemes enjoyed success.
It was brie?y very popular: within ten years of its invention, there were 283 societies to promote it, and guides to Volapuk were available in twenty-?ve other languages. He published his first book on the subject in 1887, summing up the language’s grammar in sixteen rules and providing a basic vocabulary. Estimates of the numbers vary, but even the most guarded view is that English has 500 million second-language speakers. Far more of the world’s citizens are eagerly jumping on board than trying to resist its progress. In some cases the devotion appears religious and can involve what to outsiders looks a lot like self-morti?cation. According to Mark Abley, some rich Koreans pay for their children to have an operation that lengthens the tongue because it helps them speak English convincingly. The suggestion is that it enables them to produce r and l sounds, although the evidence of the many pro?cient English-speakers among Korean immigrants in America and Britain makes one wonder whether the procedure is either necessary or useful.
Still, it is a powerful example of the lengths people will go to in order to learn English, seduced by the belief that linguistic capital equals economic capital.



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