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I posted this to FB, but I think it bears repetition here.

I've seen multiple people on Facebook Liking the following message: "I SHOULD NOT HAVE TO PRESS 1 TO HEAR A MESSAGE IN ENGLISH... WE ARE IN AMERICA, LEARN THE LANGUAGE" That statement makes me very sad. English doesn't need defending. Its a strong language already. There are many more people in other countries who learn English because it's fast becoming a true international language. It's so strong that France has passed laws banning many english words from being used in French media. Frankly I consider it a kindness that retailers offer another language option because that allows future Americans to assimilate into our culture and make us a stronger country.


( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
Aug. 26th, 2010 11:49 pm (UTC)
I mostly agree with you, except that part about France.

French protectionism isn't limited to language, or to English... and they've been happy enough to use industrial espionage to steal American technologies they *didn't even have a word for yet.* Some of these appropriated words were applied to products of espionage... France had to form committees to invent new words for the things they stole. Then they turn around and ban the word everyone has been using for months. Or in some cases, years. French protectionism isn't about the strength of America, but the weakness of France.

And I totally agree, English doesn't need protecting.
Aug. 26th, 2010 11:51 pm (UTC)
Thanks for telling me about France's behaviour. I didn't have the full story.
Aug. 26th, 2010 11:57 pm (UTC)
It isn't well known, but creating new words to cover up a theft is just part of the (government sponsored) plan. They have a cap on new words per year that would make Webster cry... in the information age, that's begging to be made irrelevant. Webster adds words in response to usage, so they are already in the language. France adds words yearly after a committee vote in response to political concerns... so, yuck.

(We studied French industrial espionage in my MI classes. It isn't well publicized because it's pretty much silly and trivial in the realm of world commerce. It would be more embarrassing to the companies involved than the revenue is worth.)
Aug. 27th, 2010 11:33 pm (UTC)
It is irritating to have to press 1 but I hate the machine receptionist even more. English is the language of the business world. Have you notices that the copyright law on videos is in english & french?
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )



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