Tag Archives: linguistics

Life Imitating Art

Having traveled the world, the evolution of English has been a fascinating phenomenon to witness first hand.

Thanks to globalization, the Allied victories in World War II, and American leadership in science and technology, English has become so successful across the world that it’s escaping the boundaries of what we think it should be. In part, this is because there are fewer of us: By 2020, native speakers will make up only 15 percent of the estimated 2 billion people who will be using or learning the language. Already, most conversations in English are between nonnative speakers who use it as a lingua franca.

It’s true. I think back, for instance, to all the fantasy stories I read in the early 90s where there existed a kind of “common” language that enabled various groups to communicate with each other, when they had no other languages in common. It’s fascinating to see how English is taking on that role on a global scale. Of course, the ultimate evolution of English is represented in Firefly.

Of course, this must drive the persctipvies nuts.