The BBC website highlights a new, commendable initiative from the British Council and the group Speak to the Future to encourage everyone in the UK to learn at least 1,000 words in another language. The spokesperson for the group states that to do so would help combat the UK's reputation as lazy linguists bearing in mind that a thousand words is just about sufficient to allow a simple conversation in a second language. It also redresses the inbuilt irony of being a native English speaker in a world where English is spreading rapidly across the globe: as the world becomes more bilingual or multilingual, Brits and Americans will become part of a shrinking culture of monolinguists, putting them at a disadvantage in a networked world where cross-cultural sensitivity is increasingly valued.