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John McWhorter wrote in a Wall Street Journal article “What the World Will Speak in 2115”, “by 2115, it’s possible that only about 600 languages will be left on the planet, as opposed to today’s 6,000.” It’s not clear why “we may regret the eclipse of a world where 6,000 different languages were spoken as opposed to just 600,” but as he continues: “there is a silver lining: Ever more people will be able to communicate in one language that they use alongside their native one.” I wonder if easier communication among more number of people is vastly superior to observing more languages. I suppose people who used to use each of 5,400 languages for communication would regret the decline of their language but it is a little hard to believe that all of us will regret the disappearance of 5,400 languages. True, fewer numbers of languages may suggest fewer ways of seeing and living. But, is it necessarily bad? Wouldn’t a fewer languages for communication superior to merely recording the fact that there are more ways of seeing and living? In biological/ zoological sciences, the diversity of species is often considered superior to a limited number of species because it suggests flexibility thus more opportunities for survival in changing environments. I wonder if more ways of seeing and living would entail a greater likelihood for human survival.

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