From: John Wood <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: 10 March 2016 17:42
>>As a benchmark, we have the Norman invasion of England from which we can see that a ruling elite cannot force their language on an established
>>minority and the result is that we now speak "English" and not French.
>How do we explain that English is the common tongue in so many foreign countries today, many a result of colonialism, and where the original
>colonials were of a significant minority when compared the native population?
Well, that's an interesting question :-) I'd like to remind everybody of a line from the movie Lawrence of Arabia, where Lt. Lawrence & Col. Brighton meet inside their Arab hosts' tent for the first time. Col. Brighton has just refused the Arab request for guns (artillery) in their fight against the Ottoman Turkish Empire, which is currently occupying Arabia. Brighton then goes on to explain that Britain & the Arabs are united in their fight against the Turks and says that Britain is a great world power. He then asks: "And do you know why Britain is great?" To which, sherif Ali replies: "Because they have guns!" To which prince Feisal adds: "And because they have ships, and as such, the British go where they please and strike where they please." (Oh, and btw, the Turks had guns as well, which is why the Arabs needed British help.)
I suggest that, in the 5th/6th c. when encountering a largely peaceful, civilian British population, emerging from 400 years as part of the Roman Empire, the possession of swords, spears & seaxes on the part of the invading Anglo-Saxons took the place of artillery & warships used by 19th/20th c. Britain. But that is, just a guess :-)