Controversy of Globish

Topics: English language, Lingua franca, Second language Pages: 5 (1499 words) Published: December 10, 2012
Meghan McCutcheon
Concordia University

This paper explains the current arguments surrounding the use of an impending world language. Four different sources are used throughout the paper as a means to better explain the notion of Jean-Paul Nerrière’s brainchild of ‘Globish’ as a front-runner for the use of a world language. These sources differ somewhat of their interpretation of ‘Globish’ and how it is changing the way that English is being spoken. McCrum (2011) and Hitchings (2011) both explore the idea of an impending world language and how ‘Globish’ will invariably change the way that native English speakers will speak English to non-native speakers. The examination of the controversies of ‘Globish’ and the realization of a world language are thoroughly reviewed in two online newspaper articles. Cameron (2010) assesses the history of English and its rise to prominence through globalization. Cohen (2006) establishes a case for the detrimental results that ‘Globish’ will have on the English language, as we know it today. This paper attempts to link the idea between a world language and ‘Globish’ together and what the possibilities of both mean for the future of English. Keywords: ‘Globish’, world language

The Controversy of ‘Globish’ and its
Impact as a Potential World Language
As English continues to assert its dominance as a leading language used worldwide, it’s no wonder that the standards that its users hold it to will splinter and change over time. English has spread, primarily because of British colonialism, the technological advances of the Industrial Revolution, American economic and political ascendancy, and further technological developments in the second half of the twentieth century (Hitchings, 2011). Languages do change; however, written languages, including English take an immense amount of time to undergo a considerable alteration. With the force of professionals, writers, and linguists holding English to a reasonably persistent standard, this comes as little surprise. A new world language has come forward, in the face of linguistic standards and cultural consequences. With an increase in global commerce showing no signs of slowing down, non-native speakers are at the head of how to conduct business across the globe with a consistent model for speaking English. According to McCrum (2011), this voracious appetite for English has spurned the development of a ‘worldwide dialect of the third millennium’ coined by Jean-Paul Nerrière as ‘Globish’. ‘Globish’ is a relatively new method of creating and globalizing a new tongue of English, without infringing on other languages, customs, or expecting learners to go to extraordinary measures to become fluent. For a concept that seems obstinate in protecting and considering a great deal of aspects relating to language, there are a number of controversies and arguments facing ‘Globish’ as the potential for a new world language develops.

McCrum (2011) states, “Globalization is a word that first slipped into its current usage during the 1960s; and the globalization of English, and English literature, law, money and values followed suit, transforming society and the power and influence of the English language” (p. 5). The evolution of ‘Globish’ was unquestionably created from the impact of globalization and significance of English growing stronger around the world. Much of this interest in English can be credited to American cultural influences and advertising, social networking, and the increasing number of young people in developing countries, among other factors (Cohen, 2006). The man behind the development of ‘Globish’, Jean-Paul Nerrière, seems to have stumbled upon his idea somewhat accidentally while encountering various conversations between people with limited English speaking capabilities. According to...
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