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  1. rewboss's Avatar

    • Join Date: Feb 2006
    • Posts: 1,552

    Re: Global Unified English?

    I remember a scene in a sit-com a long time ago. There was a woman whose husband had worked his way up from virtually nothing to the manager of a small business and had actually made quite a lot of money before he died. He left all his money to his wife, obviously, who, amongst other things, had bought a nice little villa on the Algarve. But she could never quite hide her working-class origins and always spoke with a thick cockney accent while complaining that even Postman Pat was in Portuguese.

    Well, one of her husband's former employees was visiting her, and asked about the language barrier and whether it was hard communicating with the cleaning lady. "Oh, not at all," says the woman. "She's a quick learner, and she's picked up a lot of English already." Just at that moment the cleaner, a 65-year-old woman, appears and, in a Portuguese accent, announces: "I bugger off home now."

  2. #12

    Re: Global Unified English?

    Language is a many and different thing. My wife is Korean and we've been together for nearly 15 years now. We have developed our own system of communication- mostly English but some Korean (where we live) a little Japanese (where we used to live) and a dash of Thai (where we had a year off).

    I doubt anyone could make sense of our conversations at home. Then again, I would bet actual discourse among couples and/or family members defies description in most cases. I guess more intimate relationships require less language. The participants already know the context in detail. Those details can be extremely boring for other people. They're not relevant.

    On the other hand, all politicians have scripts to follow. You can bet that any given speech is put through the laundry before it is read. When is the last time you sat at the edge of your seat when a politician spoke? Neither relevant are the ramblings of politicians except when it comes to discourse analysis (seaching for the subtext of spoken/written/physical language).

    When it comes to International English, local variations of the language will be given their day, but not all will make it. If they serve a purpose, they will survive:

    Quote Originally Posted by Tdol View Post
    Language changes to reflect the needs of the society/communities using it. International English seems to me to be inevitable. There will be local variations, but I think that many of the differences will be eroded as the need for easy communication continues to grow apace.
    Thanks to Wikipedia: You decide what forms of English are necessary...

    dialects, i.e. varieties spoken by geographically defined speech communities

    sociolects, i.e. varieties spoken by socially defined speech communities

    standard language, standardized for education and public performance

    idiolects, i.e. a variety particular to a certain person

    registers (or diatypes), i.e. the specialised vocabulary and/or grammar of certain activities or professions

    ethnolects, for an ethnic group

    ecolects, an idiolect adopted by a household
    Last edited by The Language Works; 23-Nov-2006 at 03:45.

  3. rewboss's Avatar

    • Join Date: Feb 2006
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    Re: Global Unified English?

    Quote Originally Posted by The Language Works View Post
    You missed an "i" -- they're "idiolects".

    (Not because they are spoken by idiots, but because "idio" is Greek for "one's own".)

  4. #14

    Re: Global Unified English?


    Blame it on the wine. By the wei, both are possible.

  5. curmudgeon's Avatar
    • Member Info
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    • Join Date: Mar 2006
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    Re: Global Unified English?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tdol View Post
    And often it's a perceived simplification- I remember my brother's girlfiend shouting 'put up with' to my then girfriend from Portugal, who spoke very little English, but would ave been able to grasp 'tolerate'. I presume she thought short words were easy to understand.

    Since she's your ex, I assume she didn't.

    • Member Info
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      • British English
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      • UK
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      • Laos

    • Join Date: Nov 2002
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    Re: Global Unified English?

    Well, who would?

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