Monday, August 09, 2010

Ole unpulished post 101. Arrogance of foreign phrases

(I didn't publish this one because firstly it wasn't topical, secondly it needed editing, thirdly because I did not want to offend someone in particular).

I don't mind the odd foreign word inserted in books. A word or two of French and I can usually get the meaning even if I don't know the French word. Such usage can often add to writing.

What I don't like is when a whole sentence is written in another language. Let us stick with French. Such a writing technique was often used by English writers who assumed their readers were well educated and had learnt French. What arrogance it was of them to attempt to isolate the working classes.

French is a fine language and very useful if you are in France, parts of Canada and some other tinpot dictatorships around the world, and ok, the Olympics.

But there is a good reason why the French set up an organisation to protect their language from foreign influences. It is not the lingua franca of the world. English is and it is spoken well, badly or barely by more people in the world than any other language. English embraces new words, foreign words, changing meanings and untold accents. It is a very flexible language.

Move 27/05 to 08/08

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