Two different languages? Two registers?

The following is excerpted from a post written by an Englishman:

“In it there is a ceiling reproduction that shews at one end what I interpret
to be the Sybil’s cave and Charon with a disorderly queue on the way to
Hades. Jupiter in clouds more to the centre, was blowing a trumpet.
There seems to be a large figure of Christ over the central half-way mark
displaying his ’stigmata’”

In this paragraph we see two British usages: queue and shews, one a lexical item and the other an spelling item. Believe it or not, there are people who have tried to instigate a “two language” policy toward British and American English on the basis of just such silliness. “Queue” even has seeped into American English just as American usages have seeped into U.K. usage. Nothing, to my mind, so illustrates the totally political and social basis on which is decided what is a language and what is a dialect.

Far more to the point is the pronunciation issues which sometimes make spoken British English incomprehensible to Americans at first blush. After a while, it clears up some.

Nevertheless, most attempts to argue for separate languages revolve around these barely discernible lexical vagaries. More substantial attempts are Serbia and Croation and Hindi and Urdu, essentially the same languages with vocabulary differences at the level of academic language, Hindi borrowing from Sanskrit and Urdu from Perso-Arabic sources while Serbian is Slavic oriented and Croatian more Latin and German oriented. Nevertheless, both pairs are the same language with angry partisans ready to take to the streets to enforce the indefensible notion that they are separate and distinct languages, with the emphasis on “separate”.

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