English Is Not Dying, You Elitists

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Pop linguist Gretchen McCulloch unpacks the many wrongful assumptions about language behind the idea that emojis will cause the “death” of the English language:

No, English is in ruddy good health. In fact, it’s not only not under threat, it’s the aggressor. The only problem with English is the way it’s pushing out thousands of smaller languages. You see, it’s not that languages can’t die — quite the contrary. The precise numbers vary, but it’s commonly accepted that of the 7000 or so languages currently being spoken, at least half of them will no longer be active by the end of this century.


Katie O'Brien is an English major at Cornell University, where she writes for kitsch magazine, DJs for a rock station, and complains about the cold. Find her on Twitter @abluekite. More from this author →