English officially becomes the most spoken language in the world. You had better learn it quickly.

July 15, 2008

As the most widely spoken language in the world – and yes, before the Chinese contingent jump on board heckling obscenities and crying like banshees that the jewel of the Oriental languages is more spoken, it is not -  it isn’t  half difficult to learn. Of the worlds 3000 (ish) documented languages, English is the most vivid and yet sadly is the most populated with, according to the Oxford English Dictionary, over 500 000 words and as many again in the form of scientific and technical jargon, making any attempt to master the language nigh on impossible. It would be a lot easier if, as the Eskimos, there was one word for 3956 different meanings. That way you would never say the wrong thing. And we have all said the wrong thing at one time or another.

If Bill gates and the Googleplex ever had a love-in and exchanged some data, swapped some ideas and had a chat about information then they might well check their data-banks. If they did they would find that some 80% of all the knowledge and data stored on their secret underground mega-stores is in English. That’s right, 80%. It is both fortunate that all of the worlds knowledge and secrets are stored on an indestructible hard disk somewhere in the Mojave desert and unfortunate that when future generations have to read it or dig it out in order to reconstruct the planet after some megalomaniac dictator blew it to pieces, they will have to do so in a thick Geordie accent.

Quite how English came to be so all powerful is something that we will leave to the scholars as they are probably the same people who made it so complicated in the first place. Quite why a language has to have 37 different tenses to describe 3 time periods is something only the very enlightened know. A past, present and future exist for us all; 3 simple spheres of time. Only in English time has been distorted in a way that Einstein proved impossible some 50 odd years ago. His views and thesis on time, the speed of light and its relativity to the global gravitational pull of a billion orbiting galaxies never took the post perfect future continuous passive relative tense clause into consideration. A tense that clearly proves that time travel is possible and happening right now in every English classroom in 1967, 1987, 2345 and 607, simultaneously. Only the past perfect future passive voice is contesting this via the laws of physics and a English paradox has prevailed.

This is to apologise to every citizen of the world who has to learn English. It is for the countless romantic languages that will die out in the not to distant future as English seeks global domination. However powerful China becomes, its language will not follow suit, it will be English that the global markets talk in. Americans (who luckily for them, speak a kind of butchered English by birth) find the Chinese language with its multiple alphabets simply too complicated to learn. No-one will ever take the blame for English robbing the world of languages barely spoken, so we will.

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