Post by Paolo Cordone
most educated foreigners can
manage all those idiosyncrasies...
You're absolutely wrong. In my experience, most educated foreigners,
even those who live and work in the US, have atrocious grammar,
spelling, and understanding of basic English rules. I know this from
professional experience, working as I do in a major s/w firm that hires
PhDs extensively from China, Europe, the FSU, and India. But for one
exception, every one of our technical writing and marcom staff over the
14 years I've been with the company has been hired from the US and
Britain (mostly the US)--this is by necessity. We regularly consider
applications for those positions from high quality people with advanced
degrees who speak ESL, but we usually find in their cover letters and
CVs subtle, and often not-so-subtle, mistakes that an educated native
speaker would not commit (because of the nature of the work we do, most
technical documenters in our company are at the PhD level, and much of
marketing staff is as well). And applicants for jobs where English
competency is not a must typically have rudimentary English skills.
There's much to criticize the US for, but the idea that foreign
educated speakers speak and write our language better than our educated
native speakers is pure bunk.