The World in Words 9: English and Textperanto go global

The English language has been expanding its reach since, well, long before those Mayflower men hit an American rock. Recently, English has made inroads in post-Soviet Russian, much to the consternation of many there. In neighboring Estonia, everyone's so busy learning English that they have forgotten that they are right next to Mother Russia. Then there's Sol Steinmetz, a man of many tongues. Several decades ago, he was a boy of many tongues: he learned Hungarian, then Yiddish, then Spanish, then English. He still speaks all those languages, but he feels most comfortable speaking English.
There are, of course, global rivals to English but Esperanto is most assuredly not one of them. Now there's a new Esperanto for the text messaging generation. Someone in our newsroom said it should be called Textperanto. Alas, no: its name is NOL.

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