This is funny. Someone at „ChristianScienceMonitor.com“ is mocking the „Freedom Fries“ America and wonders what would happen if the French decided to prohibit the use of French words in American English (Blogdex #2 currently!).
Of course, we all know that the French (or any other group of people who are native speakers of a certain language) do not literally own their language in any meaningful or even enforceable way – actually, I can only think of one polity where I suppose the legislative could seriously contemplate to extend copyright to such a degree… I guess you know which one I am talking about.
Moreover, French was not invented by the Académie Francaise (however much l’Académie would probably like this idea)… Quite comparably to all other languages, it took a long time to become the French we know today… But anyway. If it reads like this –
It is time for English-speaking
peoplesfolk to throw off this cultural imperialismlording-it-over-others and declaresay our linguistic freedom. It is time to purifyclean the English languagetongue. It will take some sacrificeshardship on everyone’s part to get used to the new parlancespeech. But think of the satisfactionwarm feeling inside on the day we are all able tocan all stare the Académie FranÃ§aise in the eye and say without fear of reprisalinjury: „Sumer is icumen in….“
– if you strip modern English of the linguistic consequences of the Norman conquest of 1066 (beautifully depicted on the world’s oldes comic strip, the Bayeux tapestry), imagine what would remain of English without its German(ic) roots? Since „English [predominantly] descends from the language spoken by the Germanic tribes that invaded Britain during late antiquity and the early Middle Ages…“ I’m no expert in etymology – so I am just guessing here – but I figure the above sentence would probably look somewhat like this…
It istime forEnglish- speaking folk tothrow off this culturallording- it-over-others and say our linguistic freedom.
It istime toclean the English tongue. It willtake some hardshipon everyone’s part toget used tothe new speech. But thinkof the warmfeeling insideon the day we can all starethe Académie FranÃ§aise inthe eye and saywithout fear of injury: „Sumer is icumen in….“
Just another reason for continued linguistic cooperation, I suppose ;-).