In his review in the Spectator entitled A continuation of empire by other means, Andrew Roberts gives raves to Melvyn Bragg’s new book The Adventure of English, 500 AD TO 2000: The Biography of a Language (currently available in the UK.) I’ll probably read the book. One detail in the review struck me as interesting:
English is today both the language of wealth and, more importantly, of aspiration to wealth. A fascinating statistic employed by Bragg compares the net worth of the speakers of various world languages, showing that although there are many more Mandarin-speakers than English-speakers, they are only worth £448bn. Against that Russian-speakers are ‘worth’ £801bn, German-speakers £1,090bn, Japanese-speakers £1,277bn, but English-speakers are worth a staggering £4,271bn – more than the rest put together.
Whoa. That’s a lot of money in the pocket of Mr. and Mrs. English Speaker. Good.
And with the language, typically, come other good things — elections, open and honest government, due process, free speech, sound money, law-abiding and effective armies, economic vibrancy, technological verve. The future looks bright indeed. Forward the Anglosphere.