Why do we have to speak English?

Discussion in 'History Forum' started by Ps104_33, Aug 20, 2005.

  1. Ps104_33

    Ps104_33
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    Why Is It That We Have to Speak English?

    A U.S. Navy Admiral was attending a Naval conference that included
    admirals from the U.S., English, Canadian, Australian and French Navies.
    At a cocktail reception, he found himself standing with a group of
    half dozen or so officers that included personnel from most of the
    countries.

    Everyone was chatting away in English as they sipped their drinks but a
    French admiral suddenly complained that, whereas Europeans learn many
    languages, Americans learn only English. He then asked: "Why is it that
    we always have to speak English in these conferences rather than
    speaking French?"

    Without hesitating, the American Admiral replied: "Maybe it's because the
    Brits, Canadians, Aussies and Americans arranged it so you wouldn't have
    to speak German."
     
  2. mioque

    mioque
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    Ofcourse all of this doesn't explain why the US army measures distances using French kilometers.
     
  3. Bro. James Reed

    Bro. James Reed
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    mioque,

    this practice originated during WWII.

    You see, when the Americans first arrived on D-day, they tried to get help from French troops. Unfortunately, the French could not figure out what was meant by "mile" or "foot" or "yard", so, in order to help the ignorant French understand, we converted our system into theirs to save time and money on sending them to school for years to learn our system.

    There's your history lesson of the day.

    btw and fyi, if you try to use this explanation on a test, you will fail. :D
     
  4. mioque

    mioque
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    What is the explanation I could use on an official test?
     
  5. Bro. James Reed

    Bro. James Reed
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    I dunno.

    Just make up one, like I did. ;)
     
  6. El_Guero

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    As for why we speak english - i like it.

    As for why the metric system ... we were promised it would save us billions of dollars ... we just lost the jobs instead ...
     
  7. Ps104_33

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    I read this somewhere and wondering if anyone can confirm. All air traffic controllers anywhere in the world must be able to speak English. Also maybe mioque can answer this one. Is English a required subject in European schools? Wouldnt that make English the universal language?
     
  8. rsr

    rsr
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    The military uses the metric system because it makes sense ... unlike the English system.

    Some form of English is a universal language. French was once a universal language; so were Latin and Greek. Nothing lasts forever.
     
  9. mioque

    mioque
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    "Is English a required subject in European schools? "
    "
    It depends on the country, it is nowadays a required subject in most secondary schools in my country. It's use is on the rise across Europe.
    German, French and English have been required subjects, for at least a year or 2 in most Dutch secondary schools for generations.
    English is the most popular, not because it's more usefull later in life, most folks going through puberty don't think in those terms, but because it's easier than the other 2.
    German grammar was invented in the 7th circle of hell.
    French is more flowery and more precise than English at the same time complicating it considerably, it is also a Romanic language while Dutch is a Germanic language and English is closer to the Germanic languages than the Romanic languages.
     
  10. fromtheright

    fromtheright
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    Personally, I like the Admiral's answer best. He might have answered that if we had had to depend on the French, we might ALL be speaking German!
     
  11. billwald

    billwald
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    I have concluded that outfits like Wycliff could better spend their time teaching English or whatever and helping the tribes into the 21 century.
     
  12. Phillip

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    Yes, English is the universal language for air traffic control around the world, although some countries use their own language for military control.

    For example, when the Israeli's bombed Iraq with F-16's before we got the brilliant idea--the F-16 fighter pilots radioed to Jordanian air-traffic control; speaking perfect Arabic told them they were a Jordanian patrol on a classified mission. Jordanian air traffic control passed them right on through.
     
  13. Gold Dragon

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    In 100 years, what language will most conferences be run in? Mandarin? Spanish? Arabic? Hindi?
     
  14. Johnv

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    We don't. Did you know:

    The primary language of the Olympic Games is French.

    Announcements are made in the host city/country's language, French, and English.

    The US Constitution was circulated in German and English. The State of California's Constitution is written in English and Spanish.
     
  15. Mike Stidham

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    It's because they do most of their fighting in places where the metric system is used, instead of the British measurement system here.
     
  16. Mike Stidham

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    It wasn't so much the French.
    When the USA was founded, the question of "what will our official language be?" came down 50/50 for either German or English; since French pronunciation is out of Dante's seventh circle as well, and anti-British sentiment influenced some to favor ANYTHING but English.
    I believe it was Benjamin Franklin who finally settled the question in favor of English.

    And don't even ask about the official bird...we almost opted for the regal and stately turkey.
    YEK! Can you imagine eating bald EAGLE on Thanksgiving? :rolleyes:
     
  17. Daisy

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    People don't usually eat raptors - eagles & owl & hawks & such. Do any of you hunters know why? Too stringy? Too gamey? Why would they be any worse than wild fowl?

    Come to think of it, we don't eat many predators of the mammal kind either, if you overlook the occasional dog or kitten.
     
  18. Glen Seeker

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    I got this from a site Named "The Metric System in the U.S."

    The U. S. has been "metric" since 1866, but only in the sense that Americans have been free since that time to use the metric system as much as they like. Although there has always been popular resistance to changing the traditional measures, the metric system has actually enjoyed strong support from American business leaders and scientists since the late nineteenth century. In 1875, the U.S. was one of the original signers of the Treaty of the Meter, which established the International Bureau of Weights and Measures (BIPM). This agency administers the International System of Units, the official version of the metric system. American scientists and engineers have always been among the leaders in improving, extending, and revising the metric system. The general public, however, has lagged far behind.

    In 1893, Congress adopted the metric standards, the official meter and kilogram bars supplied by BIPM, as the standards for all measurement in the U.S. This didn't mean that metric units had to be used, but since that time the customary units have been defined officially in terms of metric standards. Currently, the foot is legally defined to be exactly 0.3048 meter and the pound is legally defined to equal exactly 453.59237 grams.
     
  19. Bookworm

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    By that time, we will all have our Universal Translators up and running. [​IMG]
     

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