Monthly Archives: July 2009
A Global Language of Smileys as a Lingua Franca
What will the global language of the future be like? Perhaps a simplified standard English to accommodate the needs of the younger generation and local Englishes in each country as predicted by http://www.askoxford.com/globalenglish/?view=uk?. Or even a kind of Simplified-Simple-Speak as propounded by Dr. Joachim Grzega?
Or will sign language, as used by deaf and mute people, replace speech? My guess is that smileys will make it in both speech and writing. Right now, there are more than 5000 different smileys around and this won’t be the end of it. The Chinese language is proof of the viability of my novel idea. 3000 characters suffice to read a mainland newspaper and well-educated Chinese know about 7000 characters.
Initially, you will probably have problems pulling faces and sticking out your tongue when communicating with your boss or when you are given an audience by the Pope but once you have got the hang of it, it should become second nature. Teaching Smiley Speak must be fun too.
Smileys are exactly what the doctor called for to replace the trendy simple speak of the young and also BGE (Basic Global English). Even Dr. Joachim Grzega`s method of mutilating the English language does not go far enough and his Basic Global English, or BGE, will probably have problems holding its own. Some newspapers have already begun to run series of “interviews without words”, among which is the prestigious Süddeutsche Zeitung.
It does not seem to be beneath their dignity to publish a series of grotesque faces, contorted into ridiculousness. Nevertheless, they may be the forerunners of a new global speak, so treat them with the respect and seriousness due to them.
For more hilarious inanity click here:
About this posting
This posting is part of a series dedicated to topics dealing with various aspects of the English language which usually get short shrift on the internet and in other publications. It is, in a wider sense, concerned with the English language crumbling into incomprehensibility at alarming speed and how society is influenced by it. How do schools and universities react and in what way is literature affected by all this? Furthermore, how do people working in education and linguistics cope with this avalanche of “Local English neologisms”?
What often sounds like modern Pidgin English can generally be put down to neo-pidginicity. It is an artificially accelerated and manipulated process – or rather linguistic genetic engineering – of attempting to oversimplify Standard English, the result of which is in all cases some sort of Neo Pidgin English or Simplified-Simple-Speak. Four major fields of contact contribute to the gradual encroachment on Standard English: Basic Global English, as advocated by Dr. Joachim Grzega, machine translations of any kind, unedited documents and publications – frequently of international validity – being passed off as standard English but in fact written by non-native speakers of English, the acceptance of “Local English” and non-native speakers of English teaching their version of “Local English”. The result of the English “produced” in all these areas of contact is often, at best, a barely elevated Pidgin English.
And to compound matters, Globish appears to become a composite haphazard mixture of all about 180 Local Englishes and may for that very reason not be as easy as some people think once it has evolved into a sub-language of Standard English.
Finally, it would be interesting to see the first book written in Basic Global English, Dr. Joachim Grzega`s novel and daring invention and see in which section bookshops will display such a work of art.