Monday, Nov 2, 2009
by PopMatters Staff
by John McWhorter
World Affairs Journal (Fall 2009)

“As we assess our linguistic future as a species, a basic question remains. Would it be inherently evil if there were not 6,000 spoken languages but one? We must consider the question in its pure, logical essence, apart from particular associations with English and its history. Notice, for example, how the discomfort with the prospect in itself eases when you imagine the world’s language being, say, Eyak.”

Latest in Language

Our Desperate, 250-Year-Long Search for a Gender-Neutral Pronoun
— Maria Bustillos (The Awl, 6 January 2011)
Bad Writing and Bad Thinking
— Rachel Toor (The Chronicle of Higher Education, 15 April 2010)
Field Guides to Elsewhere: How We Read Languages We Don’t Read
— Hilary Plum (The Quarterly Conversation, 16 February 2010)
Plumbing the Depths of "The Hurt Locker"
— Ben Zimmer (Visual Thesaurus, 5 March 2010)
The Cosmopolitan Tongue: The Universality of English
— John McWhorter (World Affairs Journal, Fall 2009)
The Age of Undoing
— Ben Zimmer (The New York Times, 15 September 2009)
The Words That Make the English
— Tony Thorne (The Times, 9 August 2009)
Samuel Johnson at 300
— H. J. Jackson (The Times Literary Supplement, 26 August 2009)

//Mixed media

Authenticity Issues and the New Intimacies

// Marginal Utility

"The social-media companies have largely succeeded in persuading users of their platforms' neutrality. What we fail to see is that these new identities are no less contingent and dictated to us then the ones circumscribed by tradition; only now the constraints are imposed by for-profit companies in explicit service of gain.

READ the article