What is the capacity of the English language to fulfill the often countermanding obligations of a language, to serve as a global medium of communication, and to provide differing communities with differing senses of identity?
Can English exist coherently as an untold variety of Englishes?
What form will English take as we move forward?
Will its unity dissolve into disunity?
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Why English Can Survive in a Global World
English has a history of assimilating different languages into spoken and written form. For example, in 1066 English was radically changed after the Norman invasion of England. Even though the Normans brought in their own language and dominance, English did not die off. In fact, English evolved and added new words to its vocabulary. For example, "chef" is a word that comes from the Normans (The French). We still use this word today. In the same way, the infusion of Latin and Greek words into English gave it a capacity to discuss science and philosophy. Even today most scientific and technical words in English have a Latin and Greek base. Words like "biology" and "philosophy" both come from Latin and Greek.
Assimilation of new words is ongoing in the English language. Words like "patio," "taco," "yoga," and "nirvana" come from Spanish and Hindi, respectively. Every year new words are added to the English dictionary. The sheer amount of words in English make just about any conversation possible. For example, words like "Google" and "Internet" were created to adapt to changes in technology. English can accommodate new additions to its word list because new words can be created from existing prefixes and suffixes. For example, "internet" is a combination of the prefix "inter" and the base word "net." The combination of word stems can add to the language. English is easily adapted as the primary language of many countries. For instance, India and many Kenya have adopted English as their official language. Although The United States does not have an official language, English is commonly spoken there, as well as in the United Kingdom, Australia, and Canada....
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