College Prep Writing
The following paragraphs may be improved by deleting or revising the portions of them that are characteristic of spoken or informal English. Select the option that reflects the conventions of formal written language.
A Well-Used Language
(1) It is difficult to really know precisely the exact number of speakers of a language, but there is little doubt that Mandarin Chinese has the most. (2) The language with the second greatest number of speakers is not so obvious. (3) Estimates vary; some linguists place Spanish after Chinese, and others put English in second place.
(4) When primary and secondary speakers of English are combined, however, English speakers outnumber primary and secondary Spanish speakers. (5) About 400 million people speak English as a native language, between 500 million and a billion use English as a foreign language, and tons more are learning English in classrooms. (6) There are additional millions who read English but do not speak the language. (7) It is thought that an awesome two-thirds of the world's scientists read English, and most of the world's mail is in that language, which is almost unbelievable.
(8) Although the speakers of Chinese are more in number than the speakers of English, English users are like all over the place around the world, and English is almost a world language. (9) Multinational overseas businesses like Toyota, BMW, Tata Group, Air France, Deutsche Telekom, Hitachi Ltd, and others distribute internal documents and e-mail in English, and English is a very important working-language at international organizations, such as the International Criminal Police Organization, the World Health Organization, and the United Nations.
(10) The great amount of written information available in English contributes to the language's world-wide popularity, and although English may sound pretty different from country to country, there are no significant differences in the way the language is written. (11) When a software developer in India gets on the phone with a computer maker in Japan, they may have trouble understanding each other's spoken English; however, if they write to each other, everything is OK. (12) There are virtually no dialects in written English. (13) All over the world, readers of English as a first or second language expect to be able to understand the English-language books, newspapers, and magazines that they read, and writers make this possible because they follow standard writing rules.