Updated: Feb 28, 2019

The Tower of Babel, Abel Grimmer

Non-native English pervades the world

No matter how skilful he or she is, a non-native English writer is ... a non-native English writer. This clearly imposes limitations, but it also creates opportunities for plain, idiom-light interactions.

Even in restricted domains such as diplomacy, English is today’s lingua franca. This spells collateral damage for the language of Shakespeare, which is subject to undue pressure, at best, and outright aggression, at worst.

To effectively interact with each other we, non-native English writers and speakers, need to make hard choices. To be understood, we need plain language; to enhance meaning, we need nuance.

Do we manage to walk this fine line?

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