Iraq, oddly enough

To Strip Or Not To Strip.

Bayeux Tapestry.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 peoples folk to throw off this cultural imperialism lording-it-over-others and declare say our linguistic freedom. It is time to purify clean the English language tongue. It will take some sacrifices hardship on everyone’s part to get used to the new parlance speech. But think of the satisfaction warm feeling inside on the day we are all able to can all stare the Académie Française in the eye and say without fear of reprisal injury: „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 is time for English-speaking folk to throw off this cultural lording-it-over-others and say our linguistic freedom.
It is time to clean the English tongue. It will take some hardship on everyone’s part to get used to the new speech. But think of the warm feeling inside on the day we can all stare the Académie Française in the eye and say without fear of injury: „Sumer is icumen in….“

Just another reason for continued linguistic cooperation, I suppose ;-).

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