Peter T. Daniels wrote: > On Dec 26, 9:58 am, jmfbahciv <jmfbahciv@aol> wrote: >> Peter T. Daniels wrote: >>> On Dec 25, 10:00 am, jmfbahciv <jmfbahciv@aol> wrote: >>>> Andrew Usher wrote: >>>>> The use of Latin in the sciences and other learned fields basically >>>>> ceased in the 18th and 19th centuries. I have long wondered why people >>>>> accepted the use of national languages exclusively in this endeavor >>>>> where international understanding is more imperative than any other. >>>>> It is true, that the use of Latin by 1700 had already passed almost >>>>> everywhere else, but its last remaining use should still have been >>>>> enough to support it, given that Latin was the one language that every >>>>> educated man in the Western world knew, and that Latin, having such a >>>>> long tradition of use, was at least suitable for scientific and >>>>> technical purposes as any other language at the time. >>>>> And so, some explanations suggest themselves. The first is that the >>>>> predominant advocates and defenders of Latin, from the Renaissance to >>>>> now, are from the humanities; and so once Latin had disappeared from >>>>> live literary use, their support was no longer important. The second >>>>> is to blame it on the French: they abandoned Latin earlier than anyone >>>>> else, and are well-known to have an inflated view of the greatness of >>>>> their own language. But that does not seem to explain how it happened >>>>> everywhere else: had they wanted to emulate the French, they would >>>>> have started writing in French, and if they had wanted to oppose them, >>>>> they should have re-emphasised the role of Latin. >>>>> Now, of course, I can't propose the revival of Latin for these >>>>> purposes: English has virtually replaced it as the international >>>>> scientific language. But it look a long time during which dealing with >>>>> many different languages was a considerable problem, and it seems as >>>>> though this should have been avoided. >>>> The third explanation is that English is more versatile. IOW, >>>> people can make up new words easily. I did this as part of >>>> my job. >>> I take it you don't know Arabic? >> Correct. But what does this question have to do with why >> English, or American ;-), is the language used as a default language? >> >> >> >>> Which newsgroup are you in? >> sci.physics. >> >> /BAH- > > It has to do with the claim that English is "more versatile" (scil. > than other world languages) in its ability to "make up new words > easily."
However, that is one of the reasons English was used to describe science and technical specs instead of another Western Civ language. There are no government rules that prevent creation of new words in countries where some form of English is spoken.
> > A claim that English borrows (assimilates) words from other languages > more easily than other world languages is more legitimate.
Oh, I see what you're saying now :-). I don't write well and never have.