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English Guilt

English is everywhere — the lingua franca (should be lingua anglica) of today’s world! Its universal usage minimizes transaction costs in an increasingly integrated world — and that integration has increased interest in learning the lingua anglica.

I feel guilty about this, and all American economists should: It’s easier for us to write our scholarly papers than it is for other economists; it’s easier for us to function internationally.

I try to work on this, by speaking German with German economists whose English I know is not as good as my German.

No luck — they all want to practice their English with me. I suppose I should be charitable and help them with their English instead of bucking the tide, but I feel guilty about the whole thing. I suppose there’s nothing to be done; and the future will bring still more dominance of English, until it goes the way of Latin, its predecessor.