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  #81  
Old May 28th 2014, 12:47 PM
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NickKIELCEPoland NickKIELCEPoland is offline
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Originally Posted by voiceoftheshires View Post
And Cricket, Golf and Rugby but in England there are more people involved with horses or boats on a Saturday then football
Cricket, golf and rugby aren't followed by the working-classes of the world on a worldwide basis.
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  #82  
Old May 28th 2014, 12:53 PM
voiceoftheshires voiceoftheshires is offline
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Originally Posted by NickKIELCEPoland View Post
Cricket, golf and rugby aren't followed by the working-classes of the world on a worldwide basis.
Never said they are
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  #83  
Old May 28th 2014, 01:32 PM
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Never said they are
And I never said you said they were.
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  #84  
Old May 28th 2014, 06:19 PM
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Originally Posted by shekib82 View Post
I think the greatest contribution is the language, which became the de facto language franca.
There is nothing intrinsic about English that makes it the world's 'lingua franca' - that's a function of the economic and military dominance of Britain in the 19th century.

Prior to that time, it was French, because France was the most powerful country. Prior to that, it was Latin, because of the Church. Prior to that, it was also Latin because of the Roman Empire. Prior to that, it was Greek. I think Greek was probably the first language to be used in such a way.

That is to say, the dominant 'lingua franca' of any era is simply a result of military and political power of a given period.

The key point that people don't seem to realize is that all this proves is that the world desperate wants/needs a universal language.

All that being said, it is a happy accident for the world that the English language has certain particular qualities that make it so very versatile, flexible and relatively easy to learn and master. But the key point is that English didn't become a dominant/majority language because of any intrinsic quality of the language - that was due to the historical circumstance of money, power and politics. Indeed, that America speaks English, is what keeps English on top of the world's language pile, for exactly the same reason that British power put it there.
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  #85  
Old May 29th 2014, 12:55 AM
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Default Re: Great Americans

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Originally Posted by Michael View Post
There is nothing intrinsic about English that makes it the world's 'lingua franca' - that's a function of the economic and military dominance of Britain in the 19th century.

Prior to that time, it was French, because France was the most powerful country. Prior to that, it was Latin, because of the Church. Prior to that, it was also Latin because of the Roman Empire. Prior to that, it was Greek. I think Greek was probably the first language to be used in such a way.

That is to say, the dominant 'lingua franca' of any era is simply a result of military and political power of a given period.

The key point that people don't seem to realize is that all this proves is that the world desperate wants/needs a universal language.

All that being said, it is a happy accident for the world that the English language has certain particular qualities that make it so very versatile, flexible and relatively easy to learn and master. But the key point is that English didn't become a dominant/majority language because of any intrinsic quality of the language - that was due to the historical circumstance of money, power and politics. Indeed, that America speaks English, is what keeps English on top of the world's language pile, for exactly the same reason that British power put it there.
I have never met anyone who thought it proved anything else, and I very much doubt voiceoftheshires does.
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  #86  
Old May 29th 2014, 05:25 AM
voiceoftheshires voiceoftheshires is offline
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Default Re: Great Americans

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Originally Posted by Michael View Post
There is nothing intrinsic about English that makes it the world's 'lingua franca' - that's a function of the economic and military dominance of Britain in the 19th century.

Prior to that time, it was French, because France was the most powerful country. Prior to that, it was Latin, because of the Church. Prior to that, it was also Latin because of the Roman Empire. Prior to that, it was Greek. I think Greek was probably the first language to be used in such a way.

That is to say, the dominant 'lingua franca' of any era is simply a result of military and political power of a given period.
Not really, for instance what makes English the international language of air and sea navigation is that we English first sorted out naval navigation and from that use in air navigation followed.

Another factor that might contribute is that unlike languages like German, the English have always been happy to use import words and terms
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  #87  
Old May 29th 2014, 05:35 AM
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Default Re: Great Americans

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Originally Posted by voiceoftheshires View Post
Not really, for instance what makes English the international language of air and sea navigation is that we English first sorted out naval navigation and from that use in air navigation followed.

Another factor that might contribute is that unlike languages like German, the English have always been happy to use import words and terms
I'm astonished that you could think so. I am sure that it is purely a matter of the fact that a world super has it as its main language, that makes English the world's lingua franca, possibly also the fact that it is spoken on a few different continents as a first language.
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  #88  
Old May 29th 2014, 08:31 AM
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Default Re: Great Americans

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Originally Posted by voiceoftheshires View Post
Not really, for instance what makes English the international language of air and sea navigation is that we English first sorted out naval navigation and from that use in air navigation followed.

Another factor that might contribute is that unlike languages like German, the English have always been happy to use import words and terms
Yes, but arguably Britain's successes in naval navigation are inseparable from its political and military dominance.

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Originally Posted by Michael View Post
There is nothing intrinsic about English that makes it the world's 'lingua franca' - that's a function of the economic and military dominance of Britain in the 19th century.

Prior to that time, it was French, because France was the most powerful country. Prior to that, it was Latin, because of the Church. Prior to that, it was also Latin because of the Roman Empire. Prior to that, it was Greek. I think Greek was probably the first language to be used in such a way.

That is to say, the dominant 'lingua franca' of any era is simply a result of military and political power of a given period.

The key point that people don't seem to realize is that all this proves is that the world desperate wants/needs a universal language.

All that being said, it is a happy accident for the world that the English language has certain particular qualities that make it so very versatile, flexible and relatively easy to learn and master. But the key point is that English didn't become a dominant/majority language because of any intrinsic quality of the language - that was due to the historical circumstance of money, power and politics. Indeed, that America speaks English, is what keeps English on top of the world's language pile, for exactly the same reason that British power put it there.
I wonder which, if any, language is likely to follow English in that role. Chinese seems like the obvious candidate if there's to be another, wholly distinct dominant language.

The other possibility, I think, is that English will be the last distinct language to achieve global dominance and will just slowly be replaced by slightly different but mutually understandable English-Creoles.

If I had to bet on it, I'd put my money on the latter option. English isn't the first international language, but it's arguably the first language which is international for more than just the elite.
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  #89  
Old May 29th 2014, 10:07 AM
voiceoftheshires voiceoftheshires is offline
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Default Re: Great Americans

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Originally Posted by NickKIELCEPoland View Post
I'm astonished that you could think so. I am sure that it is purely a matter of the fact that a world super has it as its main language, that makes English the world's lingua franca, possibly also the fact that it is spoken on a few different continents as a first language.
I was merely arguing that UK happening to have the largest empire ever is not the only factor, not even that it is not the main cause
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  #90  
Old May 29th 2014, 10:09 AM
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Default Re: Great Americans

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Originally Posted by voiceoftheshires View Post
I was merely arguing that UK happening to have the largest empire ever is not the only factor, not even that it is not the main cause
You also provided an example of one such non-imperial reason, namely borrowings - that was what I was referring to as something I rule out as being a reason.
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