Among the events of the twentieth century which have already had a profound effect on the course of the English language are the collapse of British power after the Second World War and the growth of communications technology on a global scale. In the course of the twentieth century, the power to affect change in the English language has begun to shift away from prestigious groups in Britain to transnational commercial organizations. English now has to be considered not in a British context but in a world context, and in this new context most people who use English are not native speakers of the language.