Businesspeople speak it. Academics understand it. Johnny Depp steams it up.
English looks so hot today that it’s hard to imagine it as anything but the homecoming king of global languages. But it wasn’t always so. Curious about the true story of our language’s past, I found myself studying a few musty old texts and contemplating Latin for the first time since high school. That took me back. I soon realized that high school gave me a pretty good metaphor for what I was learning. For if, at turn of the 18th century, all European languages made up a high school, English was the kid with the thick glasses and the “Kick Me” sign on his back.