This week the Democrats took back the House of Representatives while the Republicans strengthened their majority in the Senate in the US midterm elections – a mixed result that had both commentators and our readers split over whether either side could claim victory.
Similarly, reader opinion was divided over the question posed in the first of our World War One debate series: ‘Should we have ever fought the First World War?’
Our readers were far less at odds however on calls to introduce a tax on red and processed meat, and on the need to defend the English language from outside influences.
Read on for the very best comments from Telegraph readers on this week’s top news stories and then share your own opinions by leaving a comment below. To join the conversation, simply log in to your Telegraph account or register for free, here.
I don’t mean to come over all French, but we’re losing the control of the English Language
In her weekly Telegraph column, Jane Shilling expressed concerns for the English language and the importance of preserving it. In response, Telegraph readers suggested that the very charm of the English language is actually in its versatility.
‘The strength of English is that it is so flexible’
”The English language is a mongrel – it has happily incorporated vocabulary from around the world
”I have no problem with the creation of new words and no problem with redefinition eg wicked in the right context meaning brilliant. The strength of English is that is so flexible and has such a broad dictionary – much deeper than other languages
”My main concern is with dumbing down of grammar and spelling.”
‘Nobody owns the English language’
@Terence Paul Mclean:
”Nobody owns the English Language. One of the great things about English is that it does not have an “Academy of the English Language“ imposing a top-down rigid structure, which is what makes it such a flexible language, with the knock on effect of making it the best Lingua Franca in the world.
”The British Council position British English, and I quote, as “nothing more than just another dialect among the plethora of dialects or “Englishes“ around the world.
”This is a hugely progressive position and is borne out by the fact that people who speak English as a Second Language have far more problems understanding British or American or Australian native speakers than other second language speakers.”
Should we have ever fought the First World War? Robert Tombs and Tim Stanley discuss
As the centenary of the end of the First World War approaches, Robert Tombs and Tim Stanley kick-started the Telegraph’s Great War debate series by answering the question ‘Should we have ever fought the First World War?’. Our readers took to the comments section to continue the debate and to reflect on the consequences of the fateful conflict.
‘We had to fight’
”We had to fight. A militarist, rampant Germany with double our population across from our coast would have been a recipe for disaster and enslavement. What went wrong was stopping fighting in 1918.
”With the United States coming into the war, with her men and resources in the Allied camp, we should have only stopped in Berlin, just as we did in 1945. That way there would probably have been no Second World War.”
‘History should be about truth, not stereotypes’
”I fully agree with Tim Stanley, and I can highly recommend Christopher Clark’s “The Sleepwalkers” for anyone wanting to dig deeper into the day by day crisis of August 1914 after the assassination of Archduke Ferdinand.
”Clark’s forensic analysis of all the cabinet minutes and diplomatic cables of all the actors in the drama – only recently possible since the opening of the Russian archives – lays the blame for the escalation of the crisis squarely at the feet of France, which wanted to regain the territories it lost in 1871 and ‘deal with Germany’ once and for all. This is contrary to everything we were taught as kids and sits uncomfortably – but history should be about truth, not stereotypes.”
‘Meat tax’ which would almost double price of sausages should be brought in to save lives say health experts
Researchers at Oxford University recommended a tax on red and processed meat to offset the cost to public health this week. While some Telegraph readers favoured such a tax, citing the environmental and health benefits of eating less meat, others lamented any suggestion of interference with the contents of their full English breakfast.
‘The only reason meat should be more expensive is so that animals can have a decent life’
@Jack the lad:
”The only reason meat should be more expensive is so that animals can have a decent life before death rather than the huge factory farms that are being set up to feed the enormous amount if humans we have in the UK.
”Happy to pay more for meat but not whilst its production is cruel and unhealthy.”
‘If the rest of the world adopted western levels of meat consumption, we would need a planet three times the size of Earth to support it’
”It should be added that if the rest of the world adopted western levels of meat consumption, which is gradually happening, we would need a planet three times the size of Earth to support it.”
‘Why do they not regulate what is allowed in sausages instead of making them dearer’
”An important cheap kitchen staple to feed a family with high protein, why do they not regulate what is allowed in sausages instead of making them dearer, if people like them they will buy them regardless, so regulate that sausages should have less fat, correct correlation of cereal to meat and less salt?”
The four charts that prove Donald Trump is right to call the midterms a ‘tremendous success’
This week saw the Republicans lose the House of Representatives but hold on to the Senate in the US midterm elections. Reactions to the results were mixed, including among our readers, with Donald Trump hailing the midterms a “tremendous success” while the Democrats celebrated a “new day in America”.
‘The massive “Blue Wave” has turned into a damp squib!’
”I feel that the massive “Blue Wave” promised by Obama, Clinton and Hollywood, has turned into a damp squib!”
‘To represent losing the House of Representatives as a “tremendous success” is simply ludicrous’
”While it would be wrong to say the results were a disaster for Trump, to represent losing the House of Representatives as a “tremendous success'”(the first time in 8 years the Republicans have lost it) is simply ludicrous.”
‘I’ve heard there’s a blue wave on the way. Does anybody know what it will be arriving?’
”I’ve heard there’s a blue wave on the way. Does anybody know what time it will be arriving and should I put my wellingtons on?”
Prince Charles documentary: ‘I won’t be a meddling king’
Speaking ahead of his 70th birthday, the Prince of Wales gave an insight into his desire to follow in the footsteps of his mother, the Queen. This prompted our readers to offer their own predictions on the type of king that Charles will become.
‘He will make an excellent king’
”He will make an excellent king, as a necessary bridge between the Edwardian mentality of monarchy we currently have (and that is not a criticism) and the more modern style of monarchy that is bound to evolve with William.
”Charles’s involvement in all sorts of things, from ecology, agriculture, world affairs, the Commonwealth, social issues, housing, architecture, craftsmanship, etc. has been valuable and he has carved out a role for himself, as the longest heir in history.
”I salute you sir and look forward to your supposed regency that is to come about, once HMQ reaches 95.”
‘He’s a star’
”He’s a star. All he’s done for young people over decades, Operation Drake, Operation Raleigh in the 80s and 90s for thousands of the underprivileged. All those latter more recent African projects, right through to Duchy brand products solely to aide the region. He gets it completely. I wish more people got it like him and were enthused and less ignorant about him.”
‘For all you naysayers, Charles is a decent man with a moral ethic’
”For all you naysayers, Charles is a decent man with a moral ethic. He is also a charming man and I like many, think he would make a good king. He has worked hard to promote the good things about this country and so what if he has put in his four penneth – why shouldn’t he, you all obviously do and aren’t criticised for it.”
‘I look forward to watching the documentary’
”It’s lovely to read of Prince Charles talking very eloquently about precision in boundary definition and in particular the precise details of his view of his position, as it has been, as it is, and I hope as it will be.
”I look forward to watching the documentary.
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