18. Fix part II

18. Fix part II

By Helen Zaltzman

The Allusionist

Wednesday, 9 September

The messiness of English is the price of its success. It is the most widely spoken language in the world, geographically, being an official language in 88 different countries, and there are countless different versions of it all over the world. With so many speakers in so many places, it would be impossible to establish a single ‘correct’ form of English; and, as became evident in Fix part I, to try to do so is a losing game.

In Europe, a new strain of English is emerging. It’s not spoken very widely, but it is used by some of the most powerful people in the world. Hampton and Michael Catlin, founders of the collaborative online dictionary Wordset, lead us into this linguistic netherworld. Beware: excessive suffixes.

There is more about this episode at http://theallusionist.org/fix-ii. Say hello at http://twitter.com/allusionistshow and http://facebook.com/allusionistshow.

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