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Re: 11th specimen of Archaeopteryx‏



Now you're on my turf, and I'd say that all of these are contributing factors - but the main reason that English has come to eclipse French as the universal language is that, to quote James Nicoll, "the English language is as pure as a crib-house whore. It not only borrows words from other languages; it has on occasion chased other languages down dark alley-ways, clubbed them unconscious and rifled their pockets for new vocabulary." (or as H. Beam Piper put it, English is the result of Norman soldiers trying to pick up Saxon tavern-wenches, and no more legitimate than their other offspring.)

Another contributing factor is that French assigns genders to all nouns; English doesn't, making it easier to acquire new vocabulary without requiring approval from the Academe.

Stephen Dedman


On 7/11/2011 12:00 PM, Tim Williams wrote:
Augusto Haro<augustoharo@gmail.com>  wrote:

I would say French is not the universal language and English is just
because the British empire was able to defeat and expand more than the
French between the XVIII-XIX centuries.


The universality of English was also helped immeasurably by the fact
that one of Britain's conquests in the New World went on to become a
superpower in the XX-XXI centuries.



(No, it's not Jamaica.)






Cheers

Tim