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Full text of "The Loom Of Language"

i8

The Loom of Language

a plea for language-planning. There are other good enough reasons
why its readers may need or wish to study existing languages 1 ravelling
facilities are becoming cheaper and daily less inconvenient or time-
consuming If the states of Europe are ever uniLed under common
democratic government, with its own air service., many oi us who had
never expected to travel far afield may hope to see more of the world

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FIG 2—INSCRIPTION FROM MINE SHAFT IN THK SINAI PENINSULA
Tracings on a mine shaft m the Sinai Peninsula made by a workman who
signs himself as Number 4 and gives his name aj» SAHMILAX
before we die Inevitably we shall become more interested in the speech
habits'of our neighbours Though a knowledge of foreign languages
is not indispensable to an American or an Englishman who wishes to
travel, it adds to the fun of it and promotes a more friendly under-
standing with people one may meet
The literary arguments for language study are manifestly bogus when
based on the claims of fiction or drama for which cheap translations
are readily accessible None the less., some types of literature arc acces-
sible only to people who know languages other than their own, A large