For last year’s words belong to last year’s language
And next year’s words await another voice.
—T.S. Eliot, Little Gidding
The propagation of English is an industry; not a happy accident.
—Henry Hitchings, The Language Wars: A History of Proper English
A few years ago I was online reading about territorial disputes in the South China and East China Seas when a nautical photograph caught my eye. The most prominent markings on a Japanese Coast Guard ship were the words (in English) “JAPAN COAST GUARD.” Cruising alongside the Japanese vessel was a similarly sized Chinese ship, whose port side was adorned with letters as big as sailors that read: “CHINA MARINE SURVEILLANCE,” again in English. ...