Sunday, April 10, 2011

Barrier to Entry

Let me start this with a disclaimer: I’m not a linguist, nor am I particularly in touch with scientific publishing norms. I’m making a lot of assumptions here, and if they turn out to be wrong, well, caveat emptor.

The claim is that we have absolutely no appreciation for the benefit we’ve been given due to the fact that English has become the de-facto global language. Yes, we get to watch most of the best movies without subtitles, and there’s tons of music that we can understand the lyrics to. That’s nice, and it’s probably played a large part in why English has remained the dominant language around the world. But it’s not the biggest impact by any means.

Really, the thing we should be thankful for, and the thing we should be determined not to lose at any cost, is the access our language gives us to science.