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They're Using Our Lingo


In 1964 I wrote in Pageant that "English (more than half of which is composed of foreign words) has reached the point where other languages are beginning to borrow rather extensively from us". Since then, I have watched with interest as our mongrel tongue has not only continued to borrow from others as usual -- we have recently acquired discotheque from the French, just as we long ago got woodchuck from the Indians -- but has increasingly received from foreign-language speakers around the globe the compliment of imitation, sometimes without acknowledgement.