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“Is the Hydra the Enemy?” A Review of English Language as Hydra: Its Impacts on Non-English Language Cultures

Author(s): Corazon D. Villareal

Journal: Humanities Diliman
ISSN 1655-1532

Volume: 9;
Issue: 2;
Start page: 112;
Date: 2012;
Original page

Keywords: hydra | English language | non-English language cultures

The book, part of the series on Linguistic Diversity and Language Rights of Multilingual Matters, seeks "to promote multilingualism as a resource, the maintenance of the linguistic diversity and development of and respect for linguistic human rights worldwide through the dissemination of theoretical and empirical research"(ii). The context for this advocacy is English whose domain is perceived to have reduced linguistic and cultural diversity; this encounter is the core concern of the book, as the title suggests. The contributors unabashedly articulate their disgust and rage against this hydra through a seemingly inexhaustible arsenal of metaphors - thief, bully, juggernaut,an intractable governess, "a partner in crime," "an overstaying auntie," etc. The tone is combative, sometimes veering dangerously close to simplistic name-calling and clichéd emotionalism. So it seems.
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