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Saturday, March 16, 2013

the many deaths of English

Apple’s Siri system can answer spoken restaurant requests.
If, as Laurie Anderson sang, language is a virus, then English is the common cold.
Jeff Yang states that it is already ubiquitous — English has an estimated 1.5 billion speakers — it’s only growing more so, given its status in fast-growing emerging markets. In China alone, over 50,000 private English schools have sprung up to accommodate professionals and parents skeptical of the quality of the nation’s standardized language education.
To see some reflections on the issue in RURAL China, click here.

“The reports of my death 

are greatly exaggerated.” 

         ― Mark Twain

Below the Beltway

Goodbye, cruel words: English. It's dead to me.

It succumbed last month at the age of 1,617 after a long illness. It is survived by an ignominiously diminished form of itself.
The end came quietly on Aug. 21 on the letters page of The Washington Post. A reader castigated the newspaper for having written that Sasha Obama was the "youngest" daughter of the president and first lady, rather than their "younger" daughter.
The language's demise took few by surprise. Signs of its failing health had been evident for some time on the pages of America's daily newspapers, the flexible yet linguistically authoritative forums through which the day-to-day state of the language has traditionally been measured. Beset by the need to cut costs, and influenced by decreased public attention to grammar, punctuation and syntax in an era of unedited blogs and abbreviated instant communication, newspaper publishers have been cutting back on the use of copy editing, sometimes eliminating it entirely.

David Crystal. He’s written a book on the subject of electronic media and its impact on the English language, aptly called “Txtng: the Gr8 Db8” where he argues against the popular belief that texting leads to poor literacy among young learners.

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