Apart, then, from the negativist who believes that the course of language barriers will for ever remain part of the natural order of things, the nationalist who would intensify the feelings which perpetuates those barriers, and the enthusiast who would create an artificial language to be imposed partly by a form of inter-lingual freemasonry and partly by the international authority of some millennial Geneva, there is the view that English itself will gradually become the world language -- either expanded by its receptivity, or universalized by simplification.
1 . ABSORPTION
Though the case for simplification is, in our option, overwhelming, we may consider the other possibility -- that English will gradually be adapted to universal needs by the absorption of foreign elements ; since its admitted catholicity is the outcome of the same analytic tendencies.
Clearly, ... (more) - - page 141 to 165
2 . STANDARDIZATION
3 . THE CASE FOR SIMPLIFICATION
4 . PRINCIPLES OF INTERNATIONALITY
5 . SPELLING
6 . ABBREVIATION
7 . CONCLUSION
If then, the demand for World English, even without systematic simplification, comes spontaneously from such different sources as these ; if, moreover, it is so generally assumed by the press that English in some form will inevitably become the Universal Language -- is it not unduly naive of those wo believe in the synthetic solution to base their case on the hostility of other nations to the claims of any national language, sad the improbability of any considerable spread of English in the near future?
" The idea that English was becoming the universal language ", and the President of the 1930 Esperanto Congress at Oxford, " resulted from the wish being father to the thought. There was no probability of its use even as a secondary tongue ".1
In future, we hope, it will seem a trifle disingenuous to ignore the body of opinion here assembled ; and as regard the second stock objection, the difficulty of English, this too must wear a little thin, now that the Basic solution is available.
With the third or theoretical group of argument were have dealt sufficiently in Part I, so that the issue is now clear. There are not a dozen proposals before the world today, as current controversy would have us believe ; thee are two. But one of these has over 500 years start and over 500,000,000 converts ; and it is within the power of a single individual -- say Henry Ford, since he is already a convert -- to make its success a certainty, within his own lifetime.
The great events of history seem often to have turned on the decisions of individuals. Will these pages, perhaps assist in the formation of some such decisions ? At least, anybody can help ; for 'Debabelization ' is now no longer a dream, and it is everybody's business.
1 The Oxford Mail, July 29th, 1930.
< back | contents |