Nigel J. Ross

Signs of International English

The fashionable concept of 'International English' is discussed in some detail, looking at various definitions and various theories. After this rather heady start, a stroll through the intriguing linguistic area of English street shop signs in a non-English speaking environment follows. The kind of English found in such signs in examined, and reasons for the use of English in such contexts are put forward. The prestige factor appears to dominate - a situation that is worth tying up with the concept of International English. The prestige factor should not be underestimated when considering reasons for the spread of English as an international language.

published in English Today (No. 50, Vol. 13/2, April 1997), Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK.

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English Today
(editor: Dr Tom McArthur)
Cambridge University Press
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or 40 West 20th Street, New York, NY 10011-4211, USA
email: English Today
website: Cambridge Journals




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