Chaucer’s English, 600 years ago, became the ancestor of our English only because London was the political and economic hub of medieval England.
Vigorous literatures in regional dialects are now lost to all but scholars, because they left no descendants.
According to Global Reach, a Website that monitors Internet use around the world, some 391 million people are currently online.
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The Appalachians are home to expressions long forgotten at home—and most Americans still use “gotten,”which Brits find as archaic as “God wot.” But London itself is marginal now, and power speaks English with an Appalachian-descended Texas twang. But the metaphor of the margin—the silence, the blankness that gives context to the central words—is fading.
In a medium without a margin, the marginal are not only finding a voice, they are renewing the language itself.
Or do they feel that these words make them members of an important new community?
Probably both, just as native English speakers may wince or grin at a new slang term that welcomes some while excluding others.
The other day I ran across a piece I'd written back in 2001.
In some ways it seems dated, as in capitalizing "web" words. Here it is: How the Web is Changing English by Crawford Kilian (2001) As a novelist, I know that you show the truth about your characters by putting them under stress that threatens their identity.
Americans make up 167 million (actually down a bit from 2000).
Britain has 22 million, Canada 11 million, Australia 9 million and New Zealand 1.5 million.
Several factors are at work in the creation of this new Global English.