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JAMA 100 Years Ago
December 20, 2000

THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE AND MEDICINE.

Author Affiliations
 

JenniferReiling, Editorial Assistant

JAMA. 2000;284(23):2977. doi:10.1001/jama.284.23.2977

The recent order of the Emperor of Germany to have instruction in the English language, instead of the French, made compulsory in the higher public schools of that country is significant in several directions. It may be taken for granted that the order was inspired by policy and that sentiment had no agency in its issuance. The world is becoming more and more Anglicized in a linguistic point of view, and the prescience of the Japanese statesman, Mori, who some thirty years ago advised the adoption of English by his countrymen is yearly becoming manifest. Wherever commerce goes the English speech follows; it is the language of business throughout the world. This pre-eminence has been gained not altogether through the expansion, commercial and otherwise, of the English-speaking people, but also from its own advantages of conciseness, copiousness and general adaptability to all the needs of human intercourse. A German merchant is quoted by a Washington diplomat as saying that he uses it for his correspondence because he can say in a page of English what would take three pages of German, and say it more clearly and exactly.

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