Re: [langue-fr] L'anglais est-il une langue universelle ?

From: John Cowan (
Date: Wed Dec 20 2000 - 11:13:33 EST

Alain LaBonté wrote:

> Is English the best marketing and communication tool?

This diatribe would perhaps have more force (though not be
as widely intelligible) were it written in something other
than English.

> 70% of
> the world population has no knowledge of it

Reliable figures in this field are notoriously hard to come by,
but I suspect this one is inflated.

> From 1880 up to the second world war, multilingualism - not
> monolinguism - was the rule. Every participant would present
> his work in his own native tongue.

Now this is definitely inflated. It is notorious that 19th
century Russian science was conducted almost entirely in German,
with honorable exceptions. And the participants were
restricted to Western European nations almost entirely,
avery different situation from today's.

> The new language Gestapo that patrols the Internet to blast traces of
> languages
> other than English,

Now this is both silly and offensive, in addition to invoking
Godwin's law ("when the Nazis are mentioned, the
debate is over").

I yield to no one in my enthusiasm for America-bashing, but to
compare intellectual arrogance with political imperialism,
state terror, and the physical extermination of whole peoples
is going much too far.

There is / one art             || John Cowan <>
no more / no less              ||
to do / all things             ||
with art- / lessness           \\ -- Piet Hein

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