Dartmouth's Daily Blog
News, commentary, criticism and praise for the College on the Hill, enlivened with history, culture and travel when we feel so moved.
This is an archived post. Please click here to see the latest entries.
Frenchman Proposes Downsizing English; Re-Naming “Globish”
Since the worldly use of this fine English language is on an unceasing rise—one billion speakers and counting—there seem to be two (well, three) camps. The first is unassertive and allows each person to use his tongue of choice. Call it the “free language market” solution. That is the one ignored by the New York Times as it reports on the rise of English this bright Sunday. The second is the classical French option, which is to abandon organic norms, dictate lingual code, ban or stem the influx of English words, and keep things pure. Call it the statist option. It is the first presented by the Times, with the most recent example being that fine place called Iran, where one is no longer allowed to use the word “pizza” or “helicopter” on pain of, well, death, probably. The final is the modern French option, which is the main focus of the article. €œIt ‘s a lost cause to try to fight against the tide, € says Jacques Lévy to Times reporter Noam Cohen. So?
Jean-Paul Nerrière, a retired vice president of I.B.M., calls his proposal Globish. It uses a limited vocabulary of 1,500 words, taken from the Voice of America, among other sources, which can be put together clumsily to express more complicated thoughts. Little concern is given to the complexities of grammar, and he proposes that speakers of Globish say the same thing in different ways to make up for difficulties in pronunciation.I’m being just a little unfair. Nerrière doesn’t advocate replacing English, or any language for that matter, with Globish. He calls Globish a “tool” with a limited use. €œGlobish is not a language, it will never have a literature, it does not aim at conveying a culture, values, € he says. And so I think it isn’t a terrible idea at all. But I think option number one, in which more and more people find themselves advantaged by learning proper English, is probably best. Then the current one billion English speakers needn’t memorize which English words aren’t in the Globish vocabulary, and as English grows ideas can be communicated with more precision and accuracy.
August 14, 2013
Breaking: Of Crips and Bloods and Memories of Ghetto Parties
History repeats itself, first as tragedy and then as farce, or sometimes it just repeats itself. From the New York Times on November 30, 1998: At Dartmouth College, white students at a ”ghetto party” dressed…
June 25, 2013
Dean of the College Charlotte Johnson’s War on Students Part (2/2)
Part 1, Part 2 Today’s post again recounts the events that befell the Freshman. However, the content of the Hanover Police department report reproduced in this space yesterday is supplemented by information from my own…
October 18, 2009
When Love Beckoned in 52nd Street
We were at San Francisco’s BIX last evening, enjoying prosecco, cheese, and a bit of music. A full year of inhabitation in Northern California has unraveled to me no decent venue for proper lounging, but…
October 9, 2009
D Afraid of a Little Competish
So our colleague and Dartblog writer Joe Asch informed me that the D has rejected our cunning advertising campaign. Uh-oh. The Dartmouth is widely known as a breeding ground for instant New York Times successes,…
September 4, 2009
How Regents Should Reign
As Dartmouth alumni proceed through the legal hoops necessary to defuse a Board-packing plan—which put in unhappy desuetude an historic 1891 Agreement between alumni and the College guaranteeing a half-democratically-elected Board of Trustees—it strikes one…
August 29, 2009
Election Reform Study Committee
If you are an alum of the College on the Hill, you may have received a number of e-mails of late beseeching your input for a new arm of the College’s Alumni Control Apparatus called…
- The Dartmouth College Case
- 2007 Trustee Election
- Dartmouth Constitution
- Sunday Morning Sinatra
- The Indian Wars
Subscribe by Email
This website reflects the personal opinions of its authors. Any e-mails received may be published along with the full name of the sender. If you wish otherwise, please say so.
All content appearing at Dartblog.com should be presumed copyright 2004-2018 its respective bylined author unless otherwise noted or unless linked to original source.