Re: Appalling English

Subject: Re: Appalling English
From: Rick Kirkham <rkirkham -at- seagullscientific -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 2 Nov 2000 11:10:23 -0800


R Senthilnathan <rsenthil -at- gmx -dot- net> wrote:

>Who is a 'native speaker' of English?

Anyone whose first language is English.

> I also know many South Asians (this might be true for many African nations
> that were former British colonies) who know only English, yet they are
> normally not categorized as 'native speakers'.

If they "know only English" then they are native English speakers regardless
of their race or nationality. Anyone who does not categorize them as such is
just misusing the phrase "native speaker".

> Finally, I remember reading this sometime ago: The Dutch and the
> Scandinavians speak better English than the British, and the Indians and
> the Australians write better English than the British.

When I was a university teacher I found that non-native English speakers who
got reasonably good scores on TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language)
spoke and wrote better English than Americans educated in public schools
(that's "council schools" to you Brits). Presumably, that's because the
non-natives were never exposed to bad English (until they got to the US).

>I do not know why countries like Canada and the USA were left out, but
> there it is.

To spare us embarrassment?

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