Another Kind of Global English
Abstract

This essay first considers global English in relation to the contemporary sociotechnological milieu. It examines machine translation applications, particularly Google Translate, and suggests that they globalize English in their de facto articulation of it as a normative default. Even, or perhaps especially, in the age of Google, English retains its protocological status. The essay then considers the place of global English within the twenty-first-century university, perhaps no longer the University of Excellence but the University of Efficiency. The overarching suggestion is that the discourse of global English needs to expand well beyond disciplinary and curricular concerns to consider English as the literal and metaphoric operating system for a social matrix that is at once networked and informational. If the discourse of global English is to have any critical purchase, in other words, it cannot afford to think only in terms of print culture, for to do so would be to sidestep its primary operational field and the means by which it maintains its continuing paradigmatic function.


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