Scripts (continued)

George Thompson thompson at jlc.net
Thu Sep 12 08:29:20 EDT 1996


We all know [I hope!] that living languages, like French, change, whereas
dead languages, like Sanskrit, don't.  Today English is in ascendancy;
tomorrow it will probably be Chinese that will rule the Internet.  So what?
I have no allegiance to English.  If Chinese becomes the language of
Indology tomorrow, I will learn it, in order to talk about what interests
me to those who are also interested [we've all done this already with other
languages of Indology, haven't we?].  I don't worry about what MTV is doing
to English.  I don't think that Anglophones need an academy to control the
so-called damage done to the language, *by time* more than by anything
else. I don't view African- American Vernacular, for example, as some dark
threat to my cultural and linguistic heritage [I view it rather as an
enrichment; I view the addition of *any* language as an enrichment -- even
French, which, by the way, I see as rather similar, phonologically, to
African-American Vernacular].  If we really wanted to display our
philological feathers, perhaps Sanskrit should be the medium of exchange,
after all, as it has been in India for some 2000 yrs [and probably for
similar reasons]....  This is the proper function of dead languages, I
suppose.

Sincerely,
George Thompson






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