English as it is Written

New York Herald

ENGLISH is written more than any other language. Statistics for 1898 emphasize the fact that more letters are written in English than in all the other languages together.

To be more exact, three-fourths of all the letters that go into the mails of the world are in English. This remarkable fact is the more impressive when we remember that only about one-fourth of the civilized world speaks our language. There are substantially 500,000,000 persons who speak the ten chief modern tongues, and of these 150,000,000 speak English. But the number is increasing rapidly—beyond all proportion as compared with the growth of other languages—and as the English-speaking people increase in numbers, not only do the letters in the language increase, but the number of letters per capita also increases.

At the beginning of this century about twelve per cent of the civilized world spoke English, at the middle of the century it was nineteen per cent, and now, at its close, it is thirty per cent. The increase in letter writing has been far more rapid than this, and now, out of the enormous number of 10,640,000,000 letters posted last year, 8,000,000,000 were written in English.

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Zero Weather has no Terrors for Him
March 2, 1899

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