2015 January

Frenchmen Could Not Speak French

“I just received the following note from one of our Inner Circle members.  Below the note is my response.”


“… secularism also poses a public problem. There are those whose beliefs are so different from others’ beliefs that finding common ground in the public space is impossible.”

And we lose sight of how hard it was to get that common ground to begin with.




One reply on “Frenchmen Could Not Speak French”

The magnificent monolithic edifice of standard French came crumbling down, even as I read the piece.

And now we come to a new point in the journey of Babel.
Where increasingly everyone, or at least the professional class, will be able to operate in English, as at least their second language.
Then the ones more at a disadvantage will be the monolingual native speakers of English, struggling to modify their English to communicate successfully with others.

At the First Integral European Conference in Hungary in May last year I named this “Slow English”.
There the majority of the participants were non-native speakers, but highly skilled in adjusting their English to the competence of the other.
For me it was the most beautiful English I had ever heard, because they were so highly aware of the other’s capacity to understand.


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