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languages of the World



     John Wonder is widely travelled and fluent in several languages, but he draws the line:
     In response to David Crow, I hail the demise of many of these utterly superfluous languages. What earthly purpose do they serve? Language is for the purpose of communication; it not for folkloric delectation, nor for beauty, elegance, or any such nonsense. The language that best serves for communication is the one deserving of survival. That language at present is English, but I do not think we can count on its persistance as a general Weltsprache (particularly if the liberal left, i.e., Marxists, have their way). Some other language will undoubtedly take over eventually. However, I fail to see why any charm or cozy anthropology has been lost one way or another.
     My comment: Many memos have been received critical of anthropologists and their biases. Study is one thing, but reality is another. Linguists are right to study pidgin English, but wrong to encourage its use. David Crow was not promoting these dying languages, just bidding them a sad farewell.

Ronald Hilton - 05/15/99


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