As it turned out, Roosevelt had things almost perfectly backwards. A century of immigration has done little to dislodge the status of English in North America. If anything, its position is stronger than it was a hundred years ago. Yet from a global perspective, it is not America that is threatened by foreign languages. It is the world that is threatened by English.
What conceivable threat is there to the world that people have a common method of communication?
Other than whitey – you know, us – imposing himself again.
And everywhere it goes, it leaves behind a trail of dead: dialects crushed, languages forgotten, literatures mangled.
Which is to misunderstand how languages work. English is splintering into those dialects as we speak. Because that’s what languages do, they’re not only methods of communication they’re markers of in and out group.
Every day English spreads, the world becomes a little more homogenous and a little more bland.
And every time some kid uses it in a slightly different manner – which some hundreds of millions of kids do each and every day – the lexicon and the language becomes more heterogenous and diverse.
Blimey, anyone would think we’ve not already seen Latin become French, Portuguese, Spanish, Catalan, Italian (Florentine, Venezo and Sicilian at least being different languages themselves) and so on.
As usual, nothing so conservative as a lefty with a grudge.