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zacs7
08-09-2007, 04:58 AM
Don't know if some of you have seen this before, but I found it amusing :)

The European Commission has just announced an agreement whereby English will be the official language of the EU rather than German which was the other possibility. As part of the negotiations, Her Majesty's Government conceded that English spelling had some room for improvement and has accepted a 5 year phase-in plan that would be known as "Euro-English".

In the first year, "s" will replace the soft "c". Sertainly, this will make the sivil servants jump with joy. The hard "c" will be dropped in favour of the"k". This should klear up konfusion and keyboards kan have 1 less letter.

There will be growing publik enthusiasm in the sekond year, when the troublesome "ph" will be replaced with "f". This will make words like "fotograf" 20% shorter.

In the 3rd year, publik akseptanse of the new spelling kan be ekspekted to reach the stage where more komplikated changes are possible. Governments will enkorage the removal of double letters, which have always ben a deterent to akurate speling. Also, al wil agre that the horible mes of the silent "e"s in the language is disgraseful, and they should go away.

By the fourth year, peopl wil be reseptiv to steps such as replasing "th" with "z" and "w" with "v". During ze fifz year, ze unesesary "o" kan be dropd from vords kontaining "ou" and similar changes vud of kors be aplid to ozer kombinations of leters.

After zis fifz yer, ve vil hav a reli sensibl riten styl. Zer vil be no mor trubl or difikultis and evrivun vil find it ezi to understand ech ozer. Ze drem vil finali kum tru!


If I've broken the rules, I'm sorry :(

twomers
08-09-2007, 05:18 AM
I remember showing that to my father a couple of years ago and while he got the joke and laughed he agreed with ze sentements ...

zacs7
08-09-2007, 05:24 AM
Aww, I am behind the times - a couple of years ago :(

jwenting
08-09-2007, 06:12 AM
yes. First heard it in I think 1995, maybe earlier.

Of course the reality is different but similar, as we're all going to end up being Franco/German colonies and being forced to use either one of those languages depending on who our overlords will be.

whiteflags
08-09-2007, 09:51 AM
I just hope something like this stays a joke! I learned one way of writing English, and that's really all my government can expect of me.

Mario F.
08-09-2007, 09:56 AM
It's a joke. Just that. The new language rules bit, that is.
That aside, I'm in favor of a one-language europe. If some of us dropped the national pride in the toilet (where nationalism belongs) life would be much easier. Unfortunately it won't happen in my lifetime.

DavidP
08-09-2007, 10:16 AM
A one-language Europe would sadly eliminate an essential part of culture. Whether you think about it or not, language helps develop culture...and vice versa. Although there is usually some type of global language (Greek, Latin, English), it's very doubtful that there will ever been a global first language (i.e. everyone's first language will be the same language). It would destroy many cultures, to be quite honest.

In regards to nationalism, it can have both good and bad effects. Being a patriot is not a bad thing. Many good things have come from a sense of pride for one's nation, but of course, so have many bad things. You can't, however, simply write off nationalism as an evil concept.

Mario F.
08-09-2007, 10:25 AM
I'm unsure as to cause-effect relation between language and culture. I would be tempted to think that it goes both ways with maybe culture having a stronger influence in the language than the other way around. That is, language is for the most part changed by the lifestyle, culture and... isolation (yes)... of a nation.

However, europe already speaks english whether we are debating it or not. Most of the world does when we sit two people from different countries. This doesn't seem to affect a countries culture anymore than importing foreign words, coca-cola, movies and news.

I can see your point, but without better knowledge I sincerely doubt the cultural idiosyncracies would be strongly affected. Each country would eventually develop their own variant like australia, canada and USA did, for instance.

brewbuck
08-09-2007, 10:29 AM
And not a single person points out that this was blatantly ripped off from Mark Twain?

twomers
08-09-2007, 11:20 AM
Brewb, how many people do you think read his stuff?

A 'common tongue' would be great ... but it would probably start wars with people being so patriotic. I'm willing to die for my national language, of course. I reckon we should learn cow, or dog. Sure nobody knows them but contrary to all our languages they all sound the same.

jwenting
08-09-2007, 02:06 PM
I'm not against a common language, but I am dead against what it would be representative of, and that's the total loss of independence and sovereignty, becoming a Franco/German colony (which the so-called EU "constitution" which now has been renamed "treaty" already starts to bring about).

@nthony
08-10-2007, 01:51 AM
Enter the global village that is the internet. As if it isn't obvious already, the first language of the internet is "english" and undoubtedly as the internet slowly creeps into more and more areas of society of different societies they will slowly find themselves taken over by the power that is English.
I'm sure we've all had those anecdotal experiences on forums (even these ones yes!) and games, other online communities, etc. where so many members from completely random corners of the earth are able to communicate in english on the web (and when you asked them how they learned, many simply respond "the internet"), whereas the same relationship is not usually shared amongst english speaking members trying to communicate in foreign communities.
This is my subtle way of saying ENGLISH IS THE LANGUAGE OF GODS. Give it 50 more years and it will be the first language of earth (hell, to any alien lifeform intercepting voyager, it already is).

p.s. does anyone know why Latin was beaten into obscurity? For the most part I don't see any more shortcomings than english in grammar/syntax that couldn't be solved by adding some strategic words throughout the centuries...

zacs7
08-10-2007, 02:34 AM
Was not Latin beaten into obscurity because of war, tribe separation and alike? Hence why most languages are based on Latin.

But the same thing could happen with English...

anon
08-10-2007, 07:11 AM
The sad thing about the English renewing project is that it fails to do away with the major annoyance that you still don't know how each letter should be pronounced.

It is time to move on to some phonetic alphabet (like pronunciations are written in dictionaries)!

jwenting
08-10-2007, 07:51 AM
Latin disappeared because the people speaking it were pretty much wiped out.

DavidP
08-10-2007, 10:09 AM
That's completely incorrect. Yes, the Romans were defeated, but the Italians were not wiped by any means. Latin was the primary language being spoken on the Italian peninsula, and in Spain, and in much of France when the Romans were defeated.

Unfortunately, once the Roman Empire was defeated, communications between the regions broke down seriously. Romans had built roads. Romans had created an active empire in which there was plenty of trade. Once that was gone...people were separated. Having lived in Italy myself, I can see the effects of this. People became isolated, and when that happens, dialects begin to form.

When the Romans fell, dialects actually already existed...but they weren't prominent because there was a grand empire holding everything together. The fall of the Romans was a catalyst for the dialects to continue evolving. In Italy alone there are about 30 different dialects...and nobody really spoke the same language again until the late 1800s. The same thing happened in Spain and France.

Latin was still the language for the educated...but honestly...how many people were actually educated back in that time period? Thus, Latin as a world language began to falter, but remained a world language for the educated people. It remained like this until the 1700s and 1800s.

At this time, there was a rise of the middle class, and world trade as well. The British Empire had colonies all over the world (first in the Americas, and then in the Africas, and then in Asia as well...going into the 1900s). Because of the globality of the British Empire, English was the language of the trading world.

This caused the rise of English as a global language, and the final decline of Latin - even though Latin is still pervasive in all parts of society.

As far as English being the "language of the Gods" (quoted by @nthony), I think that that is completely false.

swgh
08-10-2007, 10:11 AM
it would also mess up the educational system in schools
I prey it never actually comes to pass

jwenting
08-10-2007, 12:00 PM
The Romans were wiped out as a civilisation and society, as in rendered inconsequential.
Their holdings divided, their people scattered.
Regional dialects later became what's now called Italian with its variations from north to south.
Other regional dialects merged with the languages of the Iberian peninsula in what is now Spanish.

nvoigt
08-11-2007, 05:07 AM
I am dead against what it would be representative of, and that's the total loss of independence and sovereignty, becoming a Franco/German colony (which the so-called EU "constitution" which now has been renamed "treaty" already starts to bring about).


LOL. You do know that membership in the european union is voluntary right ? While I'm not a fan of giving up my own language, I'm really at a loss how speaking english would qualify you for becoming a french or german colony. Okay, I'm off, I need to buy a bullwhip before the shops close so I can enslave some helpless dutch and poles.

GanglyLamb
08-11-2007, 06:25 AM
Of course the reality is different but similar, as we're all going to end up being Franco/German colonies and being forced to use either one of those languages depending on who our overlords will be.


All hail the new overlord Nvoigt, for he is the chosen one with the bullwhip!

On a side note:

I always find it very funny to see how threads can start having their own life around here. From a simple joke to some linguistic/pattriotism thread.

maxorator
08-11-2007, 10:53 AM
No single person or a little group of people can modify a language with a long history so that everyone will accept it. Not even EU.

Oh, and did you know that carrot is officially a fruit in EU? Well, this is because Portuguese used to make jam out of carrots but in EU you can only make jam from fruits. What is this law good for? It's just one example of totally idiotic bureaucracy. What will they do next? Bread must be in a certain range of color?

jwenting
08-11-2007, 02:35 PM
no joke: the EU requires all bananas to be within a specific curvature range.
Officially for quality reasons, in reality it's to block imports of bananas from all countries except a few former colonies where specific species of the banana plant are cultivated that produce bananas with that curvature.

nvoigt
08-12-2007, 07:02 AM
A few former colonies ? Is there a single country that has not been a colony of one or another european state in it's history ? There's really no non-colony left, we've fought way to many wars for money, land or religion.

European law is strange and sometimes laughable, but I'll go with the saying "Never ascribe to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity." :)

jwenting
08-13-2007, 01:13 AM
yes, there are.
The ruling explicitly protects the trade interests of certain Latin American countries.

As to countries that have never been colonies, look no further than Japan and China (not Banana growers I know, though you never know what the Chinese will copy).


but I'll go with the saying "Never ascribe to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity."

Sure, that's one reason it's such a stupid reasoning :) In reality the ruling favours countries of the British Commonwealth over others, while officially being about fair trade.

DavidP
08-14-2007, 10:01 AM
Japan has never been a colony: true.

China.....eh.....although never officially being a colony, it pretty much was for a period of time...during the Opium Wars and all the spheres of influence that were going on at the time.

Mad_guy
08-14-2007, 11:04 AM
Everybody just needs to learn lojban (http://lojban.org/) and be happy.