UNIVERSAL LANGUAGE.

That’s the name of a new blog by Brian Lennon, a Ph.D candidate in English and Comparative Literature at Columbia University. So far he’s written caustically literate posts about the idea that Americans should be learning English as a second language, the “abysmal linguistic incompetence of U.S. intelligence services,” the QWERTYUIOP keyboard, Scots slang, and other topics. Welcome to Upper Blogovia, sir!
Addendum. UJG has delivered a further smackdown to the ESL story.

Comments

  1. dungbeetle says:

    See the last line(or is it the 4th line) in post of(on) “THE GOBLIN VERSION”
    now theres the universal language. ..enough..

  2. jean pierre says:

    Ha ha! Having taught ESL for a little over a year, I enjoy the irony of the realization that Americans now need to take ESL! Something my mother, a Mexican immigrant from the land-owning Creole class, and a fluent English speaker, had often claimed.

  3. I’ve also noticed a correlation between literacy in ones mother tongue and ease of learning ESL. I doubt there are many native speakers of American English who could not understand somebody (foreign or not) speaking in standard English. There may be problems of vocabulary or accent, but if both parties want to communicate then can accommodate one another. (Simply raising ones voice is not enough.) I think the topic of discourse has more to do with comprehension than the grammar or phonology of ones ideolect.

  4. huynh minh hieu says:

    I don’t know about descriptive grammar and prescriptive grammar. Can you explain in ? I wish You could write it into an essay
    Thank you.

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