Post by Dingbat Post by Athel Cornish-Bowden Post by Dingbat
... written by an Englishman, of course!
<<... when someone from England is attempting to communicate with a
baffled and bewildered non-native-English speaker -- like your typical
And your point is ... ?
... that there seem to be Englishmen who consider only Englishmen native English speakers.
It all depends on how one defines those words. The claim that only
Englishmen are native English speakers is perfectly defensible if one
chooses specific (but quite ordinary) meanings for those words, and
quite indefensible if one chooses other specific (but quite ordinary)
meanings for those words. For example, does the generic term
"Englishmen" include "English women" in this context? Some would say
'yes', and others would say 'no'. Those who would say 'no' would
presumably consider the claim to be false on those grounds alone. Those
who would say 'yes' are well on the way to showing the claim to be true.
So, as is so often the case, it all depends on what you mean.
Post by Dingbat Post by Athel Cornish-Bowden
Don't we have enough examples in this very group to illustrate the idea
that Americans do't always understand what British English speakers
write (and vice versa)?
Ah, but how do you like American English speakers being cast in the same category as Indian English speakers - non-native speakers?
What's not to like? And what has liking and disliking to do with anything?
Americans are not English. Indians are not English. The Irish are not
English. The Scots are not English. Australians are not English.
So, if we happen to be defining "native English speaker" as "someone
born in England", then members of all of those groups are non-native
speakers of English (if indeed they speak English at all, which some
But if we happen to be defining "native English speaker" as "someone for
whom English is their first language", anyone in any of those groups
might or might not be a native English speaker.
"Like" and "dislike" don't come into it.
Email: rjh at cpax dot org dot uk
"Usenet is a strange place" - dmr 29 July 1999
Sig line 4 vacant - apply within