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Global English

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Global English

English as a Global Language, 2nd ed., by David Crystal (Cambridge University Press, 2003)

Definition:

(1) The use of the English language as a common means of communication across cultures--a lingua franca.

(2) A form of English used in texts intended for an international audience.

See also:

Observations:

  • "The widespread use of English as a language of wider communication will continue to exert pressure toward global uniformity as well as give rise to anxieties about 'declining' standards, language change, and the loss of geolinguistic diversity. But as English shifts from foreign-language to second-language status for an increasing number of people, we can also expect to see English develop a larger number of local varieties.

    "These contradictory tensions arise because English has two main functions in the world: it provides a vehicular language for international communication and it forms the basis for constructing cultural identities. The former function requires mutual intelligibility and common standards. The latter encourages the development of local forms and hybrid varieties. As English plays an ever more important role in the first of these functions, it simultaneously finds itself acting as a language of identity for larger numbers of people around the world."
    (D. Graddol, "English in the Future," in Analysing English in a Global Context, ed. by A. Burns, Routledge, 2001)


  • "Signs of India’s economic boom are omnipresent. [BBC journalist Sam] Miller visits an English school that’s doing great business, as Indians rush to develop the language skills needed to find good jobs at multinational companies. 'The key role of English,' Miller writes, 'is to get a good white-collar job, and to raise your social status. Hindi and other languages are for films, family, friends, and, if you are rich and Anglophone, to give orders to your servants.'"
    (Chuck Leddy, "Delhi: Adventures in a Megacity." The Christian Science Monitor, July 20, 2010)


  • "A stripped-down English of catchphrases and trite idioms, light on richness, is becoming the true global language."
    (Anand Giridharadas, "Language as a Blunt Tool of the Digital Age." The New York Times, Jan. 17, 2010)


  • "The scholarly interest in global English is of mainly British origin. The British seem to be much more aware than, say, the Americans of the necessity of somehow overseeing the development of global English."
    (G. M. Anderman, In and Out of English, 2005)
Also Known As: International English, Common English

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