Theory for English

Theory for English


As capitalism is to economics, English is to language
Neil Reynolds
Mar 25, 2006
NB Telegraph-Journal
Copyright © 2006 Brunswick News Inc.

This short article gives a brief history of the development of English from the mid-1500’s until today. It also outlines the evolution of American English from British English. As a language English is seen as a free language not tied or hampered by the language cops. Hence, English is to language what capitalism is to economics: Laissez-faire, enterprise and hope.

- 1582 estimated English speakers: 4 million. (
Richard Mulcaster)
- 1828 estimated English speakers: 50 million. (
Noah Webster)
- today 2 billion people speakers or studying English.

Language Issues:
- Can a language be seriously manipulated by language cops or academies?
- In 2003 a group of engineers from
Cornell published a paper in Nature modelling why languages die. One of their conclusion is that “status” is a decisive factor whether a language survives or not. (Nature: “Modelling the Dynamics of Language Death.” D Abrams and S Stogatz, 21 August 2003)
- Should a country’s language be regarded as a natural phenomenon or a political asset?

- It is evident that English differs by region, social groups or activities (eg British English, Indian English, Science and so on). Should these be regarded as distinct languages or a complex structure within a single language?
- What are the factors that would fragment a language, such as English, into distinctive languages? (Compare Latin with English).
- Will global communication make English more homogenous?
- Will global communication create a global version of English, amongst the global community, and those that do not participate within the global community will continue to develop their local version of English?

Personal initiative is fundamental for capitalism to succeed; this is also true for learning a language.

1 comment:

Alex said...

: )