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to military and economic power of Nazi Germany in the1920s and 1930s. Had the U.S. not lent its economic and military might todefeat the Germans and the Japanese, English might be a quaint relic of theplanet’s short-lived experiment indemocracy.Had Hitler won World War II and had the USA been reduced to a confederation banana republics, we would probably today use German as a universal vehicular language, and Japanese electronic rms would advertise their products inHong Kong airport duty-free shops in German. (Eco, 1995, p. 331) Unlike almost every other major nation that foughtin World War II, the United States emerged with its economy not only intact, but also thriving. It was therefore nosurprise that the United States took the lead in forming and administering institutions to aid the reconstruction andreintegration of Europe, Japan, and many other regions of the world. In short order, English-speaking nations were alsoexporting their culture, not simply their goods and goodwill.The ongoing hegemony that the United States and Britain enjoy in terms of cultural communications - lm, television, books, music, etc., helps perpetuate the inuence and staying power of English as an ofcial language. Even such culturalcommunications that are translated into the native languages of individual countries are not immune to the ‘Englishness’of the communications, i.e., the distinctly American and/or British cultural elements that inform the language of thecommunications and therefore necessarily survive any competent translation and are inculcated into the minds of thelistener/viewer/reader.In ways toointricate, too diverse for socio-linguistics to formulate precisely, Englishand American-English seemto embody for men and women throughout the world -and particularly for the young - the ‘feel’ of hope, of materialadvance, ofscientic and empirical procedures. The entire world-image of massconsumption, of international exchange,of the popular arts, of generationalconict, of technocracy, is permeated by American-English and Englishcitations andspeech habits. (Steiner, 1975, p. 469)Other than thecultural, military, and political hegemony of the British Empire and of theUnited States, what mightaccount for the staying power of English as a linguafranca? From a linguistic perspective, English is hardly the mostsensible choicefor a quasi-ofcial global language. English, simply put, is not the mostefcient and consistent language.English is an irregular and fracturedlanguage comprised of inuences from Latin and Celtic, and later ScandinavianandNorman French tongues. Its syntax, construction, verb conjugation,spelling, and other grammatical constructions, etc.,are riddled with maddeninginconsistencies that at times befuddle even native speakers, to say nothing ofthose whostruggle for years to master it as a second language.English lacks the simplicity and consistency of the Romance languages to the extent that it varies from its Latin andFrench inuences, though it is certainly easier to learn and utilize than some Asian tongues. However, these sameelements that make English a awed language are also believed by many linguists to be strengths that assist in thedurability and adaptability of English; it has historically adapted to and incorporated language inuences with ease thatit has encountered from around the globe. English has always been an evolving language and language contact has beenan important driver of change Some analysts see this hybridity and permeability of English as dening features, allowingit to expand quickly into new domains and explaining in part its success as a world language. (Graddol, 2000, p. 6) As English owes its existence to the fact that it absorbs, not rejects new linguistic and cultural inuences, its inherently hybridized nature makes it all the easier for English to assimilate characteristics of other cultures and languages, instead