JOSEPH E. LAFERRIERE
josephl at AZTEC.ASU.EDU
Fri Feb 26 08:26:58 CST 1999
Mon cher collegue Dr. Melot,
Thank you very kindly for your note. Please forgive
me for replying in English, but I want to be certain the
Americans on the list can read this.
Please explain the proposal to which you refer
concerning the conference in St. Louis. I am not
informed as to what is on the agenda there. From what
you say, it sounds as if someone is proposing replacing
Latin with English as the official language of botany.
Please give more details. I would oppose such a
misguided proposal. The question of which language
to use was decided in favor of Latin decades ago.
I see no reason to reopen the question.
Americans in general not only do not study foreign
languages, but also do not study very much history.
Question: how long has American English been dominant
on the world linguistic scene? Answer: 54 years, since
1945. That is an extremely short time in world history.
How long will it remain dominant? Noone can
anser that, but my prediction is that within another
50 years, Spanish, Arabic, and Chinese (possibly also
Russian and Portugese) will be challenging
English for supremacy. This prediction is based on
history and economics rather than on any personal
preference of mine. We need something more permanent,
and Latin works fine.
Dr. Joseph E. Laferriere
"Computito ergo sum ... I link therefore I am."
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