English Today

Original Article

World Englishes and the American tongue

Eric A. Anchimbe a1
a1 Institute for English Philology at Ludwig-Maximilians-University of Munich

Article author query
anchimbe ea   [Google Scholar] 

Are the other varieties of English under threat from the United States? This paper reviews the place of the United States of America (her English and culture) in the contemporary world, especially with regard to the spread and use of the English language. World War II and its aftermath raised America to the height of political, economic, commercial, technological strength which saw the transformation of English from being a reserve of the British Isles and their queen, to a code of international linguistic transaction. English today is no longer just spreading world-wide, but is overwhelmingly adopting a predominant American touch, given the pride and prestige of the American lifestyle and pop culture. This paper therefore observes that in a quite foreseeable future the world Englishes will gradually subsume their heterogeneous identities into the sweeping current of the American variety of English.

(Published Online October 6 2006)