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Who would you prefer to edit your writing: a non-native speaker of English who is a Professor of English at an Indian (or a Belgian) university, or a monolingual Brit or American who left school with no qualifications at the age of 15?
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MilkyWho would you prefer to edit your writing: a non-native speaker of English who is a Professor of English at an Indian (or a Belgian) university, or a monolingual Brit or American who left school with no qualifications at the age of 15?
The former. The study of the language (native or foreign) is a necessity that a high-school drop-out just doesn't have.
A Professor of English is a more appropriate person to edit my writing than someone who left school at 15 with no qualifications,taking them both at face value. However some people who drop out of school go on to make a great success of themselves and may actually have excellent English. Hmmm...now I think about it, I think the current status and abilities of the native speaker should be compared to the current status and abilities of the Professor, rather than the achievement of a 15 year old with the achievement of an adult. That drop-out might now also be a Professor of English. We don't know.

...but assuming that the native still has the English of an unqualified 15 year old then, of course, the non-native Professor would be the better choice.

The fact that the native speaker is monolingual is not relevant though.
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MilkyWho would you prefer to edit your writing: a non-native speaker of English who is a Professor of English at an Indian (or a Belgian) university, or a monolingual Brit or American who left school with no qualifications at the age of 15?
I'm not sure we need to be quite as deferential towards professors of English as the question suggests. (Or quite as dismissive of monolingual 15-year-olds, for that matter.)

MrP

PS: Is the 15-year-old male or female, Milky?
MrPedantic
MilkyWho would you prefer to edit your writing: a non-native speaker of English who is a Professor of English at an Indian (or a Belgian) university, or a monolingual Brit or American who left school with no qualifications at the age of 15?
I'm not sure we need to be quite as deferential towards professors of English as the question suggests. (Or quite as dismissive of monolingual 15-year-olds, for that matter.)

MrP

PS: Is the 15-year-old male or female, Milky?
Now, thatwould make a difference!!Emotion: wink
You seem to be fascinated with the skills of non-native speakers vs. native speakers of English, Milky. Well, because this is formal written English with fairly standardized rules of grammar, I would probably choose the Professor. But remember, schooling isn't everything...that 15 year old could have studied English grammar by himself out of books. And it depends on how proficient the professor of English was. Emotion: smile I've had a French teacher who was only one semester ahead of his students, but of course more would be expected of a professor. Also, many foreigners are good at grammar, but have loads of trouble with idioms. So, I think I would prefer to have a formal interview with each, to assess their grammatical skills before choosing one over the other, and then choose the lesser of the two "evils".
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Let's not forget that the professor may teach Shakespearean English, or Chaucer, or the poetry of the Brownings... with little affinity for current business English, rendering her an unsuitable choice for my writing.
<The study of the language (native or foreign) is a necessity that a high-school drop-out just doesn't have.>

Is a high-school drop out someone who didn't continue his/her studies after 15?
<I think the current status and abilities of the native speaker should be compared to the current status and abilities of the Professor, rather than the achievement of a 15 year old with the achievement of an adult. That drop-out might now also be a Professor of English. We don't know.>

In my story, we do. He/she did not go on to higher education at all, found an ordinary job, but is a native speaker after all. So...
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