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  1. #1
    Jenny Nguyen is offline Junior Member
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    Default nature of English

    Do you think what country should English belong to?
    Should English have correct standard for everyone?

  2. #2
    cawatawa is offline Newbie
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    Default Re: nature of English

    Well, the idea of standard English rhymes with the idea for people wearing the same red coat.

  3. #3
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    5jj is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: nature of English

    Quote Originally Posted by Jenny Nguyen View Post
    Do you think what country should English belong to?
    Languages 'belong' to no-one.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: nature of English

    Personally I feel that the amazing thing about English is its variety! Having one correct standard would take away from its broad cultural spectrum, liveliness and musicality. I think it's great when, while going through posts and threads on this website's forums, one learns that a particular word, phrase or expression may be accepted in BrE whereas it wouldn't be in AmE for instance. That's the beauty and major challenge in learning, studying and teaching such a fast evolving language as English.
    Last edited by shannico; 29-Feb-2012 at 14:14.

  5. #5
    Jenny Nguyen is offline Junior Member
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    Default Re: nature of English

    Quote Originally Posted by shannico View Post
    Personally I feel that the amazing thing about English is its variety! Having one correct standard would take away from its broad cultural spectrum, liveliness and musicality. I think it's great when, while going through posts and threads on this website's forums, one learns that a particular word, phrase or expression may be accepted in BrE whereas it wouldn't be in AmE for instance. That's the beauty and major challenge in learning, studying and teaching such a fast evolving language as English.
    I think so, however, it's necessary to have some kind of "basic standard" that makes English itself, not other languages. There should be some thread that connect all English dialects together, I read somewhere that standard English is just one dialect of English only. But I wonder how English become an international language? Why is it English but not any other languages?

  6. #6
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Re: nature of English

    English dialects and variants are connected. I can watch an American movie and follow it, or have a conversation with an Australian, etc. Very strong regional accents can be difficult, but the majority of speakers can follow each other.

  7. #7
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    Frank Antonson is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: nature of English

    Related to this subject, I can't recommend Robert MacNeil's "The Story of English" enough. It is about 9 hours long, and I am quite sure that it is available online for free viewing -- check out documentaries online.

    Anyway, his first and especially his final episodes deal with the present and future of English. He even suggests that it is conceivable that English because of its very diversity could some day go the way of Latin -- another imperial language.

  8. #8
    emsr2d2's Avatar
    emsr2d2 is offline Moderator
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    Default Re: nature of English

    The Robert MacNeil documentary sounds interesting. I hadn't stumbled across it before. I've found it on YouTube so I'll be watching it in instalments from this afternoon onwards.

  9. #9
    Frank Antonson's Avatar
    Frank Antonson is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: nature of English

    Great!

    I found it WONDERFUL. And at the time that it came out, I believed that it would change English teachers' attitudes around the world. Sadly, for me, I saw no such effect. Most English teachers in the USA never even knew about it.

    Let us know what you think!

    Frank

  10. #10
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    konungursvia is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: nature of English

    Someone corrected me last month saying an acronym is not an acronym unless it is pronounced as spelt, as in OPEC, UNESCO and NATO. BBC and VIP are therefore not acronyms. After looking it up, I see that is correct. But I can't remember the word for the other abbreviation spelt out when spoken.

    [Edit: this should have gone onto a different thread]
    Last edited by konungursvia; 06-Mar-2012 at 12:02.

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