English, the universal language

Dear Editor,

Once upon a time, six kings sat around a table. The kings were from Belgium, France, Italy, Luxemburg, the Netherlands and Germany.

They agreed many things to bring their countries together to live and work in harmony. The kings of Ireland, Denmark, United Kingdom, Norway, Greece, Portugal and many more soon saw the advantages and joined this Common Market.

They agreed to share costs in running their respective countries. They agreed not to have wars. They agreed to share the wealth of the combined incomes and help the poorer members to grow.

As their success grew, other Kings heard of this group and asked if they could join as well. New rules were made for the poorest countries which were accepted, as the original six were now very rich and all was well. They grew together until 27 countries were in the Union with many more wanting to enrol because of its success.

People travelled freely between countries and lived happily in their neighbours’ lands and were welcomed with open arms.

In order for this harmonious relationship to develop, they also agreed to speak a universal language they could all understand so the wise kings chose the most widely used tongue, the language of the United Kingdom, the English language, and it was decreed so.

All business transactions would be spoken in English.

Children were taught English in schools and became multilingual and prospered greatly as they all understood each other as they traded their wares. Those that did not learn the language had no hope of prospering and growth was slow.

Some kings never enforced the teaching of the English language in schools and children suffered and some of the more stubborn citizens would not give up their local language and were banished into poverty, mumbling amongst themselves and not being understood by travellers who shunned them as unhelpful in not bothering to learn the chosen language.

When local children travelled abroad with only the local language learned, they were lost in new countries and floundered not prospering and being able to ask the way. The elders of these countries had unwittingly stunted the progress of their children.

In the end, just before they all lived happily ever after, they had to concede and speak the chosen language originally agreed.

The moral to the story is: if you want to get on in life, learn English and speak English as you promised to do when you applied to the European Union in 1977 as honorary members and acceded in 1986.

Jenny Compton had every right to address her audience in English and for tourist industry members to complain should result in their dismissal from their trade. Or at least be given the opportunity to learn the chosen language sharpish.

H Davidson

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