I don’t believe the English changed much from Johnson’s time to Ray and Macaulay’s time. During Johnson’s time the English language was expanding and had no set rules or structure. There was no proper way to write one word so he set out to change that by creating a dictionary. His dictionary wasn’t useful in the way he thought it would be useful. He thought everyone would flock to his dictionary to check their spelling and the meaning of the word, but what it really was used for was to show the importance of having standards for English. The English language was expanding due to people spellings words slightly different from one another and because the English language was picking up words from other countries and languages. The English language was created for science, so scientists could communicate their discoveries. And new words were being invented faster than Johnson’s dictionary could keep up. I believe the English language had stayed the same in the sense that it was expanding and consuming other parts of different languages. It had changed in the sense that it had evolved to be a more defined, coherent, updated version of itself.
During Macaulay’s time the English language was still being expanded and formed with Indian words. English had reached the point where it was ready to go out into the world and share its use. In India, English was being introduced and being taught but there wasn’t much support to learn English as there was to learn Sanskrit and Arabic. Macaulay’s argued for the introduction of English and French as foreign languages to be studied. For English and French literature, science, and philosophy to be subjects of academic study in schools and have less emphasis on Arabic and Sanskrit. “We have to educate a people who cannot at present be educated by means of their mother-tongue.” “Whether we look at the intrinsic value of our literature, or at the particular situation of this country, we shall see the strongest reason to think that, of all foreign tongues, the English tongue is that which would be the most useful to our native subjects.” From these two quotes pulled from Minute by the Hon’ble T. B. Macaulay, he makes the statement that to educate the people it would be better to teach them English. That English would work better for their subjects and progress in science. It does have an imperialistic sound to it: claiming that a movement away from native languages, culture, and studies would be a step towards the better and future. Macaulay made a well argued point to have English be the language to replace their native tongue shows how well English must have evolved if people are willing to throw their old language out the door.
In Roy’s writing he also calls for English language education in India in hopes that it will modernize India’s society and Indian education. He writes that students learning Sanskrit and Arabic are learning what was known two thousand years ago,but must now be taught what was going on at the moment and the language of the future. Roy also points out how difficult it is for natives to learn Sanskrit and that it would be easier for them to just have academics taught in English.
– Andres Quezada