Officials at the European Union (and France) have finally accepted English as their lingua franca.
Certain concessions are however expected to be part of the agreement that will put vast numbers of interpreters and translators out of a job in Brussels and Stuttgart as politicians of all EU countries conform to the practice of speaking only in English at official meetings, summits, brunches and luppers.
The concessions expected from Britain basically consist of a complete linguistic review, which is expected to bring about a simplification and democratisation of the English language.
To begin with multiple abbreviations will be outlawed in all public places. People caught shouting “you shouldna done that mate” over spilt pints or flattened pedestrians will face stiff sentences involving the learning of French or Swedish.
The confusion between ‘do’ and ‘make’, and whether we make friends, a mess or a bed; or whether we do a favour, a job or the washing up, will disappear, to be replaced by a new verb “domake”. The only abbreviation accepted for this new word will be “doom”.
The quandary as to whether or not to use an auxiliary verb in the interrogative will also vanish. Everybody knows that in the present simple and past simple we don’t use an auxiliary when the question refers to the subject; hence the questions: ‘Who wrote this speech?’ or ‘What happens when you press this button?’
From now on, the only questions allowed at official functions will be subject questions, thus eliminating all possible confusion.
Where a loan word from another language is perfectly acceptable to an English word, the English word will disappear. Consequently a meeting will become a ‘rendezvous’, a dead end street will be bulldozed to make way for a ‘cul de sac’, shops will reopen as ‘boutiques’ and small will be reborn as ‘petty’.
There will be an official time when evening becomes night in the same way as there is one when morning becomes afternoon; although this may be changed twice a year to take into account seasonal variation and to save electricity.
The phrase “good night” will therefore henceforth be perfectly acceptable as a greeting when politicians arrive at parties and soirees.
The phrase “very well thank you” will finally be recognised as a valid response to the question “how old are you?”
Member states may use the completely natural and neutral question tag “innit?” on all occasions when they would otherwise be inclined to state “it’s education today, isn’t it?” or we don’t have to read all these papers, do we?”
Malicious exceptions to the rules such as “let’s adjourn for lunch now, shall we?” or “I’m chairman today, aren’t I?” will be phased out over a three year period.
When completely different words have the same pronunciation, such as ‘bare’ and ‘bear’ or ‘I’ll’ and ‘aisle’, the one that is used second in the sentence should be spoken more loudly so as to distinguish it from the first.
The United Kingdom will be given a four year hiatus in which to invent an authentic subjunctive tense and will forthwith refrain from cheating by using the simple past in phrases such as “it’s time we had lunch” or “what would I have to do if I accepted the money in this envelope?”
Polysemitic words such as ‘fine’, ‘plug’, ‘stroke’ or ‘badger’ may be interpreted as having any of their legally registered meanings under any circumstances unless a clear definition is previously stated by the speaker using the word.
Confusing words will disappear from the language where a sensible alternative is available. People telling others that they look ‘pretty awful’ will be considered to be in violation of EU policy on fraternal relations.
Negative prefixes such as im-, dis-, un-, in-, or suffixes such as –less, will all be immediately replaced by non-.
Irregular plurals such as ‘children’ or ‘mice’ will conform to majority plural forms and so become ‘childs’ and ‘mouses’.
Words which double their final consonant because the preceding letter is a vowel will cease to do so; therefore the past form of ‘strip’ will henceforth be ‘striped’.
Punning will be officially considered an anti-European activity, although it will not at present be outlawed.
Any sovereign nation not conforming to the new system will have the savings of its less intelligent citizens embargoed.