English Language and Oxford English Dictionary

Topics: English language, Oxford English Dictionary, United Kingdom Pages: 2 (466 words) Published: April 15, 2013


British or American, the language is basically the same, and its global stature is backed up by massive English-language training programmes, an international business that in textbooks, language courses, tape cassettes, video programmes and computerized instruction — is worth hundreds of millions of pounds or dollars to the economies of the US and the UK. The English language is now one of Britain’s most reliable exports. In the ironic words of the novelist Malcolm Bradbury, it is an ideal British product, ‘needing no workers and no work, no assembly lines and no assembly, no spare parts and very little servicing, it is used for the most intimate and the most public services everywhere. We call it the English language ...‘ Dr Robert Burchfield, former Chief Editor of the Oxford English Dictionary, has remarked that ‘any literate, educated person on the face of the globe is deprived if he does not know English’. The first level of the global sway of English is to be found in those countries, formerly British colonies, in which English as a second language has become accepted as a fact of cultural life that cannot be wished away. In Nigeria, it is an official language; in Zambia, it is recognized as one of the state languages; in Singapore, it is the major language of government, the legal system and education.

QUESTIONS 1. Answer the following questions using your own words. (2 points) a. Is the teaching of the English language worth a lot of money?

b. According to Bradbury, what is the difference between the English language and traditional industry?

2. Are the following statements true or false? (1 point) a. Dr. R. Burchfield is not the Chief Editor of the Oxford English Dictionary currently. b. Malcom Bradbury is a novelist that works at an assembly line. 3. Find a word or phrase in the text which, in context, is similar in meaning to: (1 point) a. Essentially: ____________________ b. That can be trusted:...
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