In the 19th and 20th centuries, English emerged as the leading language in areas which have affected all aspects of society. Show how this is true by referring to three aspects

Essay by angel_no7 May 2007

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Some important factors in nineteenth century social history laid the cultural foundation for the eventual growth of English as a world language. The various cultural manifestations of this development during the twentieth century explain the stature of the language today. These developments altogether have put English in a position of pre-eminence and together they maintain it.

One of the mediums through which English was – and still is – spread is by the press. Newspapers are the main publication which are indispensable because of the great need of information. The fact that more than half of the world’s newspapers are published in English is so important to the constant growth of the English language. A similar story could be told in relation to the publication of periodicals, magazines, pamphlets, digests and other ephemera.

The new technology which provided new directions for the development of the English language was the motion picture industry.

This technology was first developed in Europe and America during the nineteenth century with Britain and France leading the way in the art of film making. The First World War stopped them in their tracks however, which gave America the chance to gain dominance within the field. When sound was added to the technology, it was the English language which came to dominate the movie world. Despite the growth of the film industry in other countries, English-language movies still dominate the medium.

Another new entertainment technology – the recording industry – affected the growth and is still affecting the spread of the English language. The phonograph was invented in America thus, most of the significant technological developments made in the record industry took place here. The invention of LP disks and records gave music the ability to travel across the world. Music television and radio stations around the...