I read this article on the BBC News site about the influence of American English and cultural identity via language. I agree that there’s a pervasive quality to American English, that it has a tendency to creep into places where it isn’t wanted, and that whenever a suitable word in American can’t be found, a new word is invented or stolen from another language. That’s how the language works.

I also don’t think that other languages really have anything to worry about. Yet, American will spread throughout the English-speaking world via cinema, video games, the Internet, and television programs, but there’s a lot of diversity in the American we speak here, no matter how widespread the basic elements of the language become, there will always be dialects, jargon, slang, and insistent terminology.

Maybe, at some point in the next century, the Internet will be the place where everyone learns to read and write, talk, and share their thoughts — and the predominant language might be a variant of American English. But people will still use their voice boxes … they’ll continue to talk and share thoughts, and in the process of that, they’ll alter the language to suit their needs. It’s a natural sort of thing.

I imagine at some point, we’ll have languages make resurgences like how Hollywood recycles old concepts, movies and television programs, and toys that didn’t sell that well to begin with, and terminology will come into style the same way that fashion does. “The word ‘existential’ is so last week.”

But we’re talking about the chassis, not the features. Many of the beloved bits of other languages we have now will remain precisely because people like them. Like the difference between editions in Magic or Dungeons & Dragons. Lands will probably always exist in Magic, the same way they have the last fifteen years. D&D will continue to use the d20 for attack rolls, and saving throws are here to stay.

People just don’t drop the things they like, the things that are important to them. It takes an effort of will to remove something from your life that plays an important role — whether for enjoyment or necessity. If you prefer a “flat” over “apartment,” or “lift” over “elevator,” you’re going to continue using the words you prefer. And that’s whether anyone knows or even cares what you’re talking about. It’s you that matters.