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Thursday, 11 November 2010
Will English Be A Dead Language?
Heard on the BBC this morning - English may become "a dead language" in a thousand years, or at least, a minority language, like French. Dear me! I am not sure becoming like French is such a disaster. The English have relied a little too much lately on the soft power of their mother tongue, and it might do us all some corrective good to brush up on our Chinese, and learn some international and cultural humility. That being said, I doubt that the poems and novels of the English language will be as dead as the Greats for some time, and I am sure that this new Classical English, however quaint and obscure, will be studied for a few more thousand years, if only by scholars and saints. Though, it must be said, I am not yet convinced that human civilisation in its present consumerist form will survive.