English is Everywhere

As I look out of my window, I realise – English is not for the faint-hearted. :-P

We all use the language every single day. Although, I must admit I know quite a few people who want to avoid it at all costs. Nevertheless, we do use English in everything we do.

English is everywhere you look – from the writing on advertisements, the text in the books we read, the information we gather from maps, and even the way we mix English into other languages to express ourselves.

Language, in general, is really quite fascinating. But I have to wonder why it is that ‘English Language Practitioners’ (or any language practitioners for that matter, be it editors, translators or proofreaders) don’t get more recognition. Perhaps it is precisely for the reason that English is everywhere.

We all use it, we all speak it and we all (hopefully) can write it – but in varying degrees of proficiency and accuracy. In other words, we all think that we are experts in language. Where does that leave the editors, writers, proofreaders and translators of the world? Hmmm, in a pretty dismal position I expect. It is like being a doctor or an engineer – a professional – but without much recognition. All the hard work (mostly blood, sweat, and tears) is still there.

Our work becomes a part of us. If it is well written or even just relatively ‘good’, we rejoice and find that we really don’t mind working so hard if it is appreciated. When that one client comes along that actually gives us some recognition, we feel elated and we feel that what we do is really worthwhile. However, the converse is also sadly true. When we labour through work that is all over the place and that doesn’t make much sense (or even worse, work that is plagiarised from beginning to end), we want to give up and run away.

Yes, you’re probably reading this, thinking “all work is the same – it has ups and it has downs and we just have to muster up the courage to carry on”. And you have a point, but we can still feel the way we feel until things change and we are valued enough to be seen as professionals and likewise reimbursed for our efforts accordingly – not only, but most importantly, in recognition and appreciation, but also in monetary value.

So although English is everywhere and we all use it, please bear a thought for the person that endeavours to help you in your use of language to make it the best and most efficient language you can use to communicate with others. ;-)