My father was English. He date-raped my mother so she's hated English men ever since. You know my boyfriend's English, and I'm, uh, I'm half-English, which she's never been real happy about. If she finds out I'm dating someone English, she'll ah, think I' turning my back on her and becoming a foreigner.' Cathy, that's the stupidest reason I've ever heard.
Not long time ago there was a striking example of the extent to which English has diverged: a television company put out a programme filmed in the English city of Newcastle, where the local variety of English is famously divergent and difficult, and the televised version was accompanied by English subtitles!
We do not for example say that the person has a perfect knowledge of some language L similar to English but still different from it. What we say is that the child or foreigner has a 'partial knowledge of English' or is 'on his or her way' towards acquiring knowledge of English, and if they reach this goal, they will then know English.
We know from our recent history that English did not come to replace U.S. Indian languages merely because English sounded musical to Indians' ears. Instead, the replacement entailed English-speaking immigrants' killing most Indians by war, murder, and introduced diseases, and the surviving Indians' being pressured into adopting English, the new majority language.
James Joyce's English was based on the rhythm of the Irish language. He wrote things that shocked English language speakers but he was thinking in Gaelic. I've sung songs that if they were in English, would have been banned too. The psyche of the Irish language is completely different to the English-speaking world.
English is the largest of human tongues, with several times the vocabulary of the second largest language -- this alone made it inevitable that English would eventually become, as it did, the lingua franca of this planet, for it is thereby the richest and most flexible -- despite its barbaric accretions . . . or, I should say, because of its barbaric accretions. English swallows up anything that comes its way, makes English out of it.
At every point I wished that I was born English. They need to make it colder in here. You could hang meat in this room. But, yeah...I grew up in a very English household. My folks were from Liverpool. I've said this before, but there is nothing more English than an Englishman that no longer lives in England.
However good an English team is, they will always have an additional advantage. It is that European players know that their English opponents will come at them in the belief they will win, and they can always be guaranteed never to stop fighting. They have a natural aggression that they are born with. If it ever goes, English football will lose its most valuable dimension.
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