English is the one language that can be found in every corner of the world. It is taught and recognized on every continent and its prevalence is much greater than any previous “universal language” (Greek, Latin, French).
One tangential result of that ubiquity is that local cultures, for example those in Papua New Guinea, Nigeria, Singapore, and the Caribbean, are already generating divergences in their usages of the “traditional” usages of English words and grammar. It’s also worth mentioning here the increased influence of “Spanglish” and “African-American English” in the United States. My question therefore becomes: what will be the face of English in 500 years? 1000?
Latin is still a daily presence in our lives (I used “prevalence”, “ubiquity”, and “divergences” without you or I batting an eye), yet no one would claim Latin as their mother tongue. Latin was the basis for the Romance languages, which arose as a result of regional tinkering with the official language of the State.
My question, therefore, is simple: will future languages arise from adaptation and evolution of English? Will there be numerous official languages, with their own rules of grammar and distinct vocabulary, that will all trace their origins back to English? There are obviously many significant differences between the education systems of today and those of 1500 years ago and the Internet provides instant access to a wealth of information on “correct” usages to anyone in the world with a connection, but human beings are constant adapters by nature: if they find something is more useful to them, they will take it on. As someone who loves connecting the dots that exist from the past, I lament the fact that I will not be able to live long enough to possibly trace back the future languages to their genesis in English.