Behemoth, bully, thief: how the English language is taking over the planet
On 16 May, a lawyer named Aaron Schlossberg was in a New York cafe when he heard several members of staff speaking Spanish. He reacted with immediate fury, threatening to call US Immigration and Customs Enforcement and telling one employee: “Your staff is speaking Spanish to customers when they should be speaking English … This is America.” A video of the incident quickly went viral, drawing widespread scorn. The Yelp page for his law firm was flooded with one-star reviews, and Schlossberg was soon confronted with a “fiesta” protest in front of his Manhattan apartment building, which included a crowd-funded taco truck and mariachi band to serenade him on the way to work. As the Trump administration intensifies its crackdown on migrants, speaking any language besides English has taken on a certain charge. In some cases, it can even be dangerous. As it turned out, Roosevelt had things almost perfectly backwards. De Swaan divides languages into four categories. Well, not really.
Related: Global English