Sunday, March 17, 2013


English is a splendid language. It is scientific, poetic, pompous and earthy all at the same time.

English is the mother tongue of dwellers of a damp island called England and until the 1500s, was chiefly spoken by this single body of people. As history progressed, some of the inhabitants of the soggy island fled to the four corners of the earth and established English-speaking colonies.

In near isolation, the language began to mutate into variants like the Australian sing-song babble and the American snarl.

Had these populations remained apart for much longer, the English they spoke may have diverged to the point where speakers of the variants would have been totally foreign to each other. As it is, Canadians often finds  Australians difficult to understand and Americans look upon New Zealanders with stunned incomprehension.

The internet, in a great conjoining of separated twins, will bring the speakers of English back into the fold of a common language. I expect that the standards of spelling and word usage will be hammered back into alignment after so many years of straying.

No longer will the spellcheckers build in variations on word spellings for American, Australian, New Zealander, Caribbean, Indian, Sub-Saharan, Polynesian, Canadian and British English. There will be one standard and one alone.

I have decided to insist on certain rules as the process of homogenization gets underway.

Rules for the Homogenization of English

1] If there are two spellings for the same word e.g. color (American) and colour (British), the shorter of the two shall prevail unless of course the shortening of the word causes it to be ambiguous. In cases where the differently spelled words are the same length, the one that is phonetically straightforward shall be used. This process is already well underway in Canada where the spelling of centre is being widely replaced with center.

2] If there are two ways to pronounce a word that otherwise means the same thing e.g. 
Aluminum (American) and Aluminium (British),  the American pronunciation shall prevail owing to its military power. (Military power is a reliable way to resolve these types of things)

3] If two different words are used to depict the same thing e.g chips (American) and crisps (British), each side shall send an ovulating female to compete in a no-rules cage fight. The winner, determined by a tooth count after 4 hours, shall have the item officially named in the way that pleases her.

4] If one word is used to refer to two separate things  e.g.  bonnet (British to mean hood of a car) and bonnet ( American to mean rural female headgear), the country that has a
massed the largest number of naval battle groups with each group having the power to crush sizable oil-rich sultanates earns the right to have their word used by all others. In this case, the Brits, Aussies, Kiwis, Indians, Africans and all the rest will have to use the word bonnet to mean headgear and then rule #3 will be used to determine what word will be accepted to mean the panel that covers the motor of a car.

5] If two different slang words or abbreviations are used to depict a single item e.g. TV (American) and telly (British), the one that sounds the least infantile will be used.

6] If one population develops a technological advancement and names it, the other side is not allowed to make up its own name for the development. If, for example, the British develop a new underground mode of transportation and call it The Underground, all English speakers will be obliged to use the British name even if it sounds somewhat goofy.

7] If one side has changed the grammatical rules surrounding plurality of a word e.g. "Officer, I only had a couple of beer" (Canadian) and "
Constable, I only had a couple of beers" (British), the population of each side shall be enumerated and then divided by the number of grams of performance enhancing substances consumed by that country's contingent of Olympic athletes. The resulting number will then be further divided by the average body mass index of that nation's female sitting members of parliament and then multiplied by their age. The country that first abandons this calculation will be forced to adopt the  other's rules of plurality.

8] If a word is used only by one population group and will never be used by any other group for any reason at any time in the future, that word shall not be included in the universal spellchecker and will be treated as a regional curiosity. An example of such a word is the Canadian toque depicting a hat-like woolen skull mitten. If, for example, climate changes to the degree that Polynesians begin wearing woolen skull mittens, they are obliged to adopt the word used by the first wearers of skull mittens. If they insist on coming up with their own noun, Canada can throw in the flag and invoke rule #3 to resolve the matter.

9] If a population wants to use a French word to depict a new condition or item that has no current English word, the "French To English Word Migration Form" shall be filled out and submitted in triplicate to the "Center for the Rejection of French words". Please allow 6 to 8 weeks for a response.

10] If a word has no meaning whatsoever e.g. synergy, it shall be rejected and the person responsible for the coinage of the word will be flogged in public till the word is removed from all corporate mission statements. The nation that birthed this loathsome cretan shall pay a punitive portion of its GDP to all Canadian blogs that are named to connote a medical condition.

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