August 24, 1984

Evolution of Language

Author Affiliations

Lubbock, Tex

JAMA. 1984;252(8):1009. doi:10.1001/jama.1984.03350080015006

To the Editor.—  The article entitled "The Dominance of Scientific English" by Robertson and Robertson1 is of interest. The plea for a single scientific English may be a good one, but each "language" developed by a process more complicated than a simple "split," as is generally the case, and languages once "split" scarcely ever reunite. The one standard scientific English will never be a reality.In fact, the problem may be how long the standard American English will remain "standard." It is being observed in our American educational system that fewer and fewer people learn to read at an advanced level. Many reasons are given, but rarely or never discussed is the simple fact that people throughout history have generally had a hankering for reading their spoken language and an aversion for reading foreign languages, including dialects that are not their spoken dialect.As painful as it may be