Globish: How the English Language Became the World's Language
What did the German say to the Frenchman at the business convention? Probably something in English. As today’s language of international culture, business, science, and commerce, English is spoken every day by people all over the world whose native tongue is something else. Can The United States and the England keep a controlling grip on the language they popularized as it spreads across a world filled with people of other native tongues? Not for long, answers Robert McCrum in Globish, an engaging history of how this language has evolved into the world's universal “lingua franca.” McCrum derives his title from a concept coined by a “Frenchspeaking former IBM executive and amateur linguistic scholar” named JeanPaul Nerrière. “Globish” by Nerrière’s definition is a "decaffeinated” version of English. Nerrière noticed that nonnative English speakers in China communicated more successfully in English with their Korean and Japanese clients than competing British or American executives. Nerrière uses an example of a WesternArabic speaker from Casablanca meeting with a speaker from Quezon at a marketing conference. Their shared language was a form of improvised English. This new language, completely derived from English, is what Nerrière and McCrum refer to as “globish.” McCrum is an author and columnist from Britain. He claims that English has achieved a selfsustaining "supranational momentum" that is carrying it beyond the cultures from which it began. As the property of all who speak it, the language will soon "make its own declaration of independence." McCrum states that English bears traces of
AngloAmerican ideas about individual freedom. Invaded in 1066 by a Norman Frenchspeaking country, English became the "mother tongue of an oppressed people" and improbably survived. Later success in trade and commerce enriched Britain's...
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