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In a message dated 1/10/03 5:18:31 PM !!!First Boot!!!, [log in to unmask] writes:

Language has always been a "class thing," which is part of what I meant
by "unfortunate."


I don't think that is the true account of why English is the world language.  I think it has more to do with the dominance of the American economy and international business, and this has not much to do with class, since many Europeans put Americans down for being '"plebeian," with our gas guzzling SUV's and ultra middle class society. As far as class goes, it's considered very classy to be able to speak French, certainly.

But, there's an explanation beyond Class or the American economy or the American military.  It's the reason why the French young people after leaving the bars at night sing American and British rock songs in the early hours of the morning on the rues in English.  There's a reason why photos of Jim Morrison may be found at hundreds of shops on the West Bank and hung at practically all cafes.  There's a reason why thousands of French persons could recite these lyrics to me in English:

My Spanish Harlem Mona Lisa
You're my reason for reason
The step in my groove

And you said this life
Aint good enough
I would give my world to lift you up
I could change my life to better
Suit your mood
Cause you're so smooth.

Give me your heart make it real
or else forget about it.

So, I thought the reason is not just business. . . but also music and poetry.  Indeed, it has been said that English is the ultra communication language.  But then, I asked my husband.  Is English the best communication language.  Is it the most expressive language? He is totally fluent in two languages, and very knowledgeable in two others.  He said to me no, that it is indeed our dominance in the world, that to really make it any medium that you have to capture the imagination of America, that Spanish and French are extremely expressive, communicative also, in their own right. But so, why do they sing these songs English then?  Husband says because this is where it is happening . . . because we're so smooth.

Regards,

Kate