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A Modest Business Proposal

This modest business proposal is based on two unrelated observations.
The first is the ubiquity of English in advertising here in Spain, where I have been living since last year.  The cachet of using English is especially evident in casual clothing; one cannot walk down a street in Spain without encountering T-shirts sporting a wide variety of printed English phrases or American commercial logos.  Of course, there is nothing new about Europeans thinking that it is cool to wear clothing emblazoned with English (often with messages that are only barely intelligible), and this trend must be understood within the larger context of the long-standing American cultural hegemony in Europe—something against which the French, in particular, have been rallying for years.   The outsized influence of American cultural institutions and commercial interests in Europe began after World War II, when the United States was seen as the “leader of the free world” and a model for democratic capitalism.  N…

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