Saturday, February 28, 2009

asia rising, con-lang English of e-prime

Earlier this month Hillary Clinton also broke with tradition when she chose to make her first foreign trip as secretary of state to Asia.

Lord Malloch-Brown said there needed to be a "rebalancing of the global economy and rebalancing of the power in it".

Japan, China and South Korea have announced packages worth hundreds of billions of dollars to fund the IMF and support Asian currencies – taking on a traditional American role.
D: America exhausted itself with poor controls on its banking system, and with massive good-times deficit spending to give tax cuts to the rich (Bush...).

My anticipation of the rise of Chinese power looks downright conservative now.
Of course, it will be decades before the Chinese GDP exceeds USA, and a coupla more before it exceeds the collective English-speaking world.

I was having a discussion with Ryan in his car last night. My argument was as follows, that history is repeating itself.
1) Esperanto was decently designed (for the time)
2) it catered to idealists with an internationalist bent (also the source of its resurgence in our lifetime)
3) at the time French was, well, the lingua france of diplomacy
4) nobody could forsee the day when this would no longer be true
5) the League of Nations, being THE international organisation, attempted to adopt Espo
6) the French, seeing this as a threat to their pre-eminence, blocked it.
And where is French now? Just another European colonial language.
The French *could have* looked towards the future. They could have seen trends that would favour the English. Now, nobody learns French first. Heck, I'm Canadian and have almost no motive involving practical everyday utility for learning French. If not for government legislation, I could live my entire life without the motive to speak one word of those nasal vowels.
The French screwed themselves.

Fast forward to 2008, with 2045 around the corner.
1) (some IAL, ? maybe mine ? ) is nearly optimally designed
2) some IAL gains adherents due to idealist motivations
3) English is still dominant for now
4) most of us don't see that this state won't last
5) the UN on its centennial may develop the internationalist motivation to adopt
an international language
6) I wonder if the English will make the same mistake as the French.

D: The choice is not to be speaking either English or an IAL.
It will be learning an IAL. Or you can learn Mandarin.
Good luck with that. It is a bugger for an adult English-speaker to learn.
Here in Waterloo, almost HALF the workforce lacks functional literacy.
How do you suppose we will tuck in a difficult second language.

THOSE are the choices.
Did we learn anything from history?


D: English lacking the verb 'to be' in most of its incarnations.
Intriguing as a thought process.

'I am depressed', implies that

I always feel sad,
will always feel sad, and
I can do nothing about it,
'Is' and 'are', like all present tense verbs, imply no time, no space and absolute truth. 'I am depressed' abbreviates what has happened in the past. So perhaps it means

I felt sad on many occasions in the past, and I feel sad now.

D: we generally agree that the sky IS blue.
However, take the statement Bush is a moron.
While I would agree with this, it lacks the wide consensus of the former statement.
E-prime takes note of this.
I would hafta rephrase that.
I concluded that Bush IMHO behaves in a moronic fashion.
Wordy. <:

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