Wednesday, December 21, 2011

a dissenting view- the anglosphere. a book.

Author of the 2010 best-selling The Next Hundred Million: America in 2050, Mr. Kotkin is singularly optimistic in his latest assessment of a world in which the anglosphere appears to be in truculent decline. The U.S. and Britain, after all, are experiencing serious crises of confidence. Now, in The New World Order, a study published in November by the London-based Legatum Institute, Mr. Kotkin and nine academic associates conclude that the anglosphere will remain the ascendant player on the world stage for a long time to come.


D - there will be a time lag between when the BRIC group achieves parity the USA / UK and when English gets dislodged as the lingua franca of our time.
But Latin and French both went the way of the dodo, so there is no reason to believe that eventually English will retain its pre-eminence.

Though I'd point out that English is widely used in India to bypass partisan local language agendas.

Listening to the radio, I have been noticing a trend toward a more regular 'international' English, even within my English speaking Canada. This mostly entails the use of more regular plural nouns and past tense verbs.

I was thinking about how we structure questions. Do- (et al). Whereas we don't say I DO (et al), except for emphasis. E.g. Do I close the door? I close the door.
Whereas in the future and past forms, the interrogative is more obvious.
I did close the door. Did I close the door?
I will close the door. Will I close the door?
Ultimately, the accomodations to English to make it more accessible to foreigners has been pretty superficial.

In Canada, we have this problem that we import highly qualified immigrants, but then refuse to provide them with the 1 year work experience in their field required for them to recertify here. This is an inane policy and one that greatly upsets new immigrants.
D - this is the typical knee-jerk uninformed reaction from red-necks.

I volunteered for improv "Coming to Canada" skits with new young immigrants, and this complaint was frequently heard. Having said that, well, English IS a job skill and being able to communicate clearly IS a prerequisite of most jobs. Sadly English is devilishly tricky in the details. I suspect the first nation (or region or whatever) that adopts a well designed IAL will end up with a strong competitive edge. Note that I said well designed...

“We’re losing out,” said Jane Allen, partner and chief diversity officer at Deloitte. “We’re making our productivity situation worse by not capitalizing on the skills that new immigrants are bringing.”

Canada’s labour productivity – a measure of what the economy produces in each hour of work – is often criticized for lagging that of other industrialized countries. It has increased by an average annual rate of 0.5 per cent since early 2005 versus 2.1 per cent in the United States.

While some professional associations have started streamlining the recognition of foreign credentials, much work lies ahead since there are more than 440 regulatory bodies in Canada. As a result, Deloitte found there is a growing fear among progressive companies that Canada is going to lose workers to other countries if these systemic problems are not corrected.


Currently, Canada is known as a country with a broad immigration policy which is reflected in Canada's ethnic diversity. According to the 2001 census by Statistics Canada, Canada has 34 ethnic groups with at least one hundred thousand members each, of which 10 have over 1,000,000 people and numerous others represented in smaller amounts. 16.2% of the population belonged to visible minorities: most numerous among these are South Asian (4.0% of the population), Chinese (3.9%)...

D - whoever implements a well-planned IAL policy first should manage a great increase in workplace productivity.

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