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View Diary: We need to talk about English (40 comments)

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  •  Insofar as the purpose of language is to (0+ / 0-)

    communicate with each other, this planet really should only have one language.

    Anything else is hopelessly elitist.

    •  I absolutely disagree. (3+ / 0-)
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      tardis10, peterfallow, ItsaMathJoke

      For one, almost everyone who says that wants English to be said world language which says a lot in and of itself. Secondly, if we all woke up tomorrow with everyone speaking the same language the world would become a much more boring and bland place.

      Just because you shout doesn't mean I have to listen.

      by kev9100 on Fri Jun 27, 2014 at 11:51:43 AM PDT

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      •  I didn't say that English had to be the (0+ / 0-)

        planetary language, if you think it's boring, pick another!

        Or if the idea is that no matter what language was chosen, having just one would be boring - well that could be easily enough ameliorated by postage stamp collecting or something like that.  There are a vast diversity of those out there after all

        •  True, but I don't think you (0+ / 0-)

          can be serious when you compare stamps to languages. Languages are the foundation of how we communicate every day and stamps are a hobby. And by you own logic, would you have no problem whatsoever if it was decided tomorrow that the world language was Spanish had to learn it?

          Just because you shout doesn't mean I have to listen.

          by kev9100 on Fri Jun 27, 2014 at 12:04:03 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Exactly, languages are the foundation of (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            communication - making it important or even urgent that there be a universal standard.

            And your objection to that was that it would be boring - well, in that case spice up your life with a hobby.  If you don't like postage stamp collecting (fair enough!!), try model trains, crocheting, or even gardening.   There are endless varieties available in all of these pursuits.

      •  Ich verstehe kein Englisch (1+ / 0-)
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        Censorship is rogue government.

        by scott5js on Fri Jun 27, 2014 at 02:02:37 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Actually, France still officially thinks it should (0+ / 0-)

        be French, and the Catholic Church still uses Latin.

        Back off, man. I'm a logician.—GOPBusters™

        by Mokurai on Fri Jun 27, 2014 at 03:28:06 PM PDT

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    •  Hmm, Now That We Have Computers (1+ / 0-)
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      we can live with many complications that in prior circumstances would've been too burdensome. I wouldn't be the first to muse that even the Soviet massively planned economy might be workable given today's amount of information processing (not recommending it though).

      For many uses, human and even translation is fast and accurate enough. I even do some export business through translation services myself. We're probably not ready for critical realtime multilingual collaborations such as tele-robotic surgery or nuclear attack negotiation, but we're getting there.

      But even "one" language doesn't solve everything.

      We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

      by Gooserock on Fri Jun 27, 2014 at 12:06:31 PM PDT

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    •  Communicating with others is not the only purpose (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Uncle Moji, denig, Ahianne, ItsaMathJoke

      of language. And equally important function is communicating with oneself, in other words: thinking. We think in words, and the words we know and the grammatical and syntactical rules we use to manipulate those words forms the basis of our thinking about things.

      Learning another language is also learning another way to think.

      This is a good thing. A single language, world wide, would remove a certain diversity to thinking which keeps the human race flexible and able to respond to crises.

      "The problems of incompetent, corrupt, corporatist government are incompetence, corruption and corporatism, not government." Jerome a Paris

      by Orinoco on Fri Jun 27, 2014 at 12:36:37 PM PDT

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    •  Is that supposed to be snark? (1+ / 0-)
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      I ask because your statement makes no sense to me.

      Throughout recorded history every empire has imposed its language on all conquered peoples and on all of its neighbors, treating itself as the elite and everybody else as slaves. And you say that having more than one language is elitist?

      Back off, man. I'm a logician.—GOPBusters™

      by Mokurai on Fri Jun 27, 2014 at 03:02:06 PM PDT

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      •  Yes absolutely the ability to learn (0+ / 0-)

        more than one language is elitist.

        The lower strata of society rarely has that opportunity.

        •  Completely severed from reality (1+ / 0-)
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          My grandfather knew Polish, Lithuanian, Russian, Hebrew, and Yiddish as a child, and became fluent in English after immigrating. The ability to learn languages is inherent. The opportunity to be taught languages at expensive schools is elitist.

          Back off, man. I'm a logician.—GOPBusters™

          by Mokurai on Fri Jun 27, 2014 at 11:28:03 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

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