Monday, October 02, 2006

No language any better

Walter Benn Michaels wrote:
In fact, few people today think that any languages are either barbarous or civilized. "No language," as the linguist John Edwards has written, "can be described as better or worse than another on purely linguistic grounds"; all "languages are always sufficient for the needs of their speakers." ...

So the good news is that progress has been made; no one any longer thinks that one language is better than another. But the bad news is that many languages are dying anyway.
Would these same folks say that all food is always sufficient for those who eat it?

Regardless, millions of people are switching to English, and it is now the world's dominant language.

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