Friday, August 31, 2007

New Europe, etc. (updated)

Joseph M. Knippenberg, after years away, revisited the Europe of his youth. Only, of course, it wasn't the Europe of his youth anymore. He shares some of his observations in Rip van Knippenberg on the New Europe.

I found that article via this post at No Left Turns, wherein Peter Schramm says he'd like to have some conversations about it.

The ball's in your court...

P.S. What do you think of Knippenberg's suggestion in passing that since English is the new lingua franca, perhaps we should use the term lingua anglia? My first thought is that it might be more accurate for the present, but that I like the term lingua franca because it ties me to a world before my own time. (Several worlds, actually, since there have been, and are, several lingua francas, each with its own background and impact. But for me I always think of the founding of my country, and how if back then you wanted to be a major player internationally it really helped if you knew French.) Silly, I know. But there it is. I like words and phrases that keep history alive, or at least remind you of it.

I'm willing to be flexible, though. If lingua anglia caught on I'd use it, I think. ;)

Certainly I like it better than the clunky, if reasonably descriptive, “vehicular language," which reportedly means the same thing as lingua franca.

P.P.S. According to The Penguin English Dictionary, Second Edition, linga franca in the plural is either linga francas or linguae francae. I prefer the former, just because even folks like me can look at it and know that it's the plural form of linga franca. But, again, I'm willing to be flexible... :)

Update: Via Peter Lawler, this post by Patrick Deneen is also about impressions from a recent trip to Europe, and has generated some back and forth in the comments between Knippenberg and Deneen, among others.

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