EU Directive 01/04 moves to simplify English grammar in all official documentation
April 1, 2016
New EU Regulations are to be introduced to simplify EU English as a cost-saving exercise across the main European institutions this year. This move comes about as proofreading and re-printing costs soar in the EU institutions, who insist on all formal documentation being made available in English, French and German.
English is widely regarded to be one of the most difficult languages to master. Despite its widespread use as the lingua franca, both English-speakers and people learning English as a foreign language have complained (despite the availability of spell checks) about how hard it is to spell English worlds correctly. For the same reasons institutions such as the European Parliament have increasingly found that EU documentation have more grammatical errors as well as correspondence containing mixed appearances of European English, American English and British English, also known to many as Queens English.
Research conducted by the AAA found that most people surveyed were in favour of simplifying English grammar by abolishing the terms “Queens English”, “British English” and “American English” and replacing these collective terms with just the term “English”. Keyboard manufacturers have cautiously welcomed the EU Directive as they feel that this will allow manufacturers such as Apple to continue to reduce the size of their keyboards. Interestingly research shows that keystroke software (which runs in the background of all computers automatically) analyses the keys that people use has reported that the exclamation mark and the apostrophe are the least used keys across all 27 member state’s in Europe!!! And while eradicating these keys from our keyboards won’t be anything we need to be worried about in the short-term – linguistics and purists fear that such drastic measures will ultimately result in the emergence of a variant of English that by 2060 will be unintelligible by today’s older generation.
In 2018 we may see “two” “to” or “too” taking a new form. Or indeed, a pair of these may simply be made redundant leaving behind just a single “two”.
Whether we’ll see the apostrophe being dropped all together in all English curricula from 2018 or whether the Queens English will be superseded by an Anglais Nouveau Européen remains to be seen.
And, just as we familiarise ourselves with these changes to our language in 2018, don’t forget that in 2020 there will be an outright ban on the use of latinisms. Remember that circa 70% of you voted to abolish latinisms, abbreviations, along with a superfluous lists of other things that go on and on etc. etc. etc. If you want to maintain the status quo – take our poll below.
For further reading check out the Apostrophe Abolition Association link.