English is a world language, and everyone who speaks it thinks it is theirs, they say the world does business in that language.. well that is not true… not everywhere… there are successful people who don’t speak English…. and there are beggars and absolute failures who speak the language… so English language is not a trait for success, it is the person
The fact is English is popular… but who does English really belong to now… I mean the language not the people…. May be no one can really own it… it is everyone’s language… may be no one can really own a language… another question is how did it get so popular…?
“It is the Brits” he said “They owned a big part of this world… and to communicate with them rest of the people learned it… even now in my opinion the Brits own English”
“Is it..?” I asked…. but then I felt silly…. of course the Brits speak english “I am sorry I know the English is the language spoken in England, but now some people say the Brits do not use it well…. I mean in communicating”
“Who said this…?” He asked a bit annoyed… “English is spoken properly only by the English men”
“But in America…” I could not complete my sentence and he stopped me…. “Don’t talk to me about America…. They think they speak good English…? the world communicators….huh? Just because they make lot of movies in Hollywood, have the Oscars in their soil, world power syndrome in their blood…. it does not mean they speak good English… they are a mix… look at you…”
He pointed at me referring to my Indian English accent which was far from how they speak in Britain and nowhere near how they speak in America, a completely altered version of English, now and then catching on some phrase in a made up American style and then losing its grip and nose diving into the Indian, again ‘mutilated by the state’ accent… Yes it is weird but he did not have to point at it…
“Well…. I think….” Again he did not let me complete… Not that I had something specific to tell him…. other than objecting in someway or changing the topic.. never knew he was a language fanatic..
“Have you seen movies made in Britain…. Have you seen their TV comedies….. Have you read books published by British Authors…” he went on “They are originals… English has to be pure….. and now they say they cannot understand us…?” he paused.. “Do you know that women world over feel the British Accent is sexy…. It is pure… you know…. The Brits, they understand the error of usage and in America there is nothing such as an “error of usage… it is always overdose… overdose of everything”
He stopped and waited for me to say something… He might have felt I was going to give him some counter argument in support of American English… But I had no intention to…
“So what do you do in China…?” I asked with a small smile… he was working in china and belonged to the same Indian state as mine in India. He had mentioned that when I met him in the airport as we both were waiting for our connecting flight back home….
“I teach English….” He said proudly
“Oh! so is it British or American…?” I asked quickly and left it to him…