"English-speaking" (RE: Language and Wealth )

Don Osborn dzo at bisharat.net
Wed Apr 25 00:03:16 UTC 2007

Thanks Anthea, for the background on FreedomWorks, which would explain a

Re English-speaking nations, I'm not sure I want to comment on what the
author's reasoning might have been, but I have heard a distinction made
elsewhere between "core" (or some such term) English-speaking countries
where the large majority of the population has English as their mother
tongue (and which also tend to be largely monolingual), and countries where
English may be an official and second language but is not the mother tongue
of any significant percentage of the population.

I point this out since in the case of Africa, a continent that a certain
percentage of people in the US apparently consider to be a single country,
there is sometimes also a misperception that "English-speaking"
(French-speaking, etc.) is either descriptive or normative (i.e., everyone
really does speak English, or they sure ought to be), rather than an
indication of a complex situation in which the former colonial language is
official and used in various ways usually as a second language by something
less - often considerably less - than the whole population (varies by


> -----Original Message-----
> From: owner-lgpolicy-list at ccat.sas.upenn.edu [mailto:owner-lgpolicy-
> list at ccat.sas.upenn.edu] On Behalf Of Anthea Fraser Gupta
> Sent: Sunday, April 22, 2007 2:44 PM
> To: lgpolicy-list at ccat.sas.upenn.edu; Language Policy-List
> Subject: RE: Language and Wealth
> As we discussed in an earlier thread this isn't quite true (certainly
> as far as the UK is concerned). And 'largest English-speaking
> nations"???? Folks, I give you just two -- Nigeria and India. Or can
> you only REALLY speak English if you are mostly white?
> Anthea
> *     *     *     *     *
> Anthea Fraser Gupta (Dr)
> School of English, University of Leeds, LS2 9JT
> <www.leeds.ac.uk/english/staff/afg>
> NB: Reply to a.f.gupta at leeds.ac.uk
> *     *     *     *     *

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