Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Times and Languages

This is what Benjamin Franklin wrote on the French and English languages more than 200 years ago :
French seems in point of universality to have supplied its [Latin’s] place.
This gives a considerable advantage to that nation. It enables its authors to inculcate and spread throughout nations such opinions and sentiments , as are more conducive to its interests or may contribute to its reputation by promoting the common interest of mankind.
Our English [language] bids fair to obtain the second place.
And if we were to endeavour the facilitation its progress, the study of our tongue might become much more general.
Letter by Benjamin Franklin to Noah Webster: on The English Language - Universality of the French language, 26 December 1789. (in The Works of Benjamin Franklin)

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