The French love English so much that they have established a prize to celebrate the encroachment of a global language, tying humanity together and promoting virtues of their revolution: liberty, fraternity and equality. Some have won this prize for demonstrating solidarity with their fellow European citizens and sacrificing the chance to speak in their most honourable and ancient tongue in order to facilitate communication:
But topping the poll for grave disservices to the mother tongue is France’s higher education minister, Valerie Pecresse.
Her crime: proclaiming to the press that she had no intention of speaking French when attending European meetings in Brussels, because, she said, it was quite obvious that English was now the easiest mode of communication.
The name of the prize is the Prix de la Carpette Anglaise, a mouthful that appears to indicate talking English is equivalent to lying back and receiving the droit de seigneur. If you are rewarded with this honour, it means that you have displayed fawning servility towards the Anglosphere. So if you politely speak English in a meeting when everyone else does, this is enslavement by an imperialistic tongue, rather than politely accepting the majority language of your colleagues.
However, as the rest of the article continues, English is a second language and stripped down to the bare essentials for aiding communication: a development that is called Globish. A rather clumsy term as I would not wish to call the speakers of this stripped down argot, Globs. There then arises the doubtful anecdote that the native speaker cannot follow anyone else, since he is used to nuances, humour, wordplay and so on. And a chap wrote a whol ebook about this, setting out grammar and rules such as avoid jokes, metaphor and anything else that may serve to confuse (or add life to the proceedings).
In a meeting with colleagues from around the world, including an Englishman, a Korean and a Brazilian, he noticed that he and the other non-native English speakers were communicating in a form of English that was completely comprehensible to them, but which left the Englishman nonplussed.
He, Jean-Paul Nerriere, could talk to the Korean and the Brazilian in this neo-language, and they could understand each other perfectly.
But the Englishman was left out because his language was too subtle, too full of meaning that could not be grasped by the others….
Globish has only 1,500 words and users must avoid humour, metaphor, abbreviation and anything else that can cause cross-cultural confusion.
They must speak slowly and in short sentences. Funnily enough, he holds up the late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat as an excellent exponent.
If this story is true, which I doubt, then all of the group were sitting with Tim nice but dim. But when sees the object of the book: set rules, curb growth, plant boundaries, one begins to wonder. Is this just another dastardly French plot to curb the spread of English by attempting to create a simple, unfunny version? Rather similar to the new brain that the mice would have given to Arthur Dent with useful phrases and the ability to enjoy a nice cup of tea. .