"Too close for comfort" Language Hoax "Simply Genius"

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Many readers react in horror at plan to ban redundant or "unnecessary" languages proposed, according to an April Fool's Day article at EnglishClub.com, by the United Nations. Others praise the article as being in the tradition of Jonathan Swift's "A Modest Proposal" and for revealing serious issues in the "global" community.

EnglishClub.com The United Nations has taken much of the blame for plans to "begin phasing out all non-English languages, which are seen as redundant and 'unnecessary' due to the overwhelming dominance of English in the world community," according to an article that appeared at EnglishClub.com on April Fool's Day.

Many readers took the article at face value, overlooking the date.

"What kind of Nazi-esque tactics are we dealing with here?" commented JT. "I thought this was a joke until halfway into it. This is the most absurd notion I have ever heard, and I'm American so I've heard quite a few. Seriously, the fact that this is all planned out….. Damage to the brain? Are you kidding me?"

Vic R-L wrote: "Why I am not surprised? Hegemony is the mantram at all levels."

The United States, cited as calling for an abolition of all "non-English" to avoid translation problems for the CIA, also came in for a lot if ridicule.

Stocker B. wrote: "If this isn't a joke, it is one of the most harebrained ideas I've ever come across, and hardly surprising that it comes from the USA. I don't see how this proposal has even a slight chance of being adopted. All it's going to do is waste time."

Others were just horrified at the whole idea. "I can't believe this!" commented Amefil. "They can't just remove a language just like that. Just to make it more convenient for them? There are so many issues here. A language is not just about words. It's an expression of a country's culture and history."

Many bilingual readers, after learning about the latest research suggesting that multiple personality disorders may stem partly from learning foreign languages, insisted on their own normality.

But not everyone fell for the hoax and many saw the funny side, praising it "Incredible. Simply genius." Some even felt it raised serious issues. Ralph McGreevy thought the article well written, "following the pseudo-logical tradition of Jonathan Swift's 'A Modest Proposal', which urged the eating of Irish babies as the most logical use for the little creatures." He added: "Seriously though, I think the article is far too close to truth for comfort. English is rapidly becoming the world language, even in places where it has little historical usage. A friend of mine is from Ghana, but speaks only English - no African language. She tells me that English is now the official language of more than 70 countries. I have heard that Chinese university students often prefer to write essays in English because it is easier to express yourself clearly. Chinese is great for classic poetry, but not very practical for an information age - too hard to learn, easy to misunderstand, and difficult to adapt to new concepts."

Read April Fool's Day hoax - UN To Ban "Unnecessary" Languages


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