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Is English Widespread Because It’s a Better Language?

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John in Williamsburg, Virginia, ponders whether English is the linguistic equivalent of the Borg, dominating and consuming all languages its path. There’s nothing inherent in English that makes it superior to or more likely to win out over other languages. It’s economic, military, social, and political power of the countries that use a language that makes a language successful, regardless of the merits of the language. English is itself the result of several conquering events that quashed or absorbed other languages in the British Isles, and then the worldwide success of the British Empire and the United States of America made the resulting language widespread. This is part of a complete episode.

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