• Kanyakumari, India


I have followed with keen interest the debate that was sparked by the March 28 editorial “Japan’s ambivalent English.” Let me begin by stating that there is no sole ownership of this universal language. No single ethnic or linguistic group can claim to be speaking English that is pure, unadulterated and with the proper accent.

The English that we now speak sprang forth from Old English, which was prevalent during the Anglo-Saxon period. Surprisingly, this version of the language had more things in common with the Germanic tongue than with present-day Queen’s English, the barometer of how English should be spoken. But with the repertoire of English ever increasing and making space to accommodate new words from various languages, even this barometer is coming under the scanner.

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