An officer in the U.S. Naval reserve was attending a conference of officers from the U.S. Navy and the French Navy. At a cocktail reception, he found himself in a small group that included personnel from both navies. A French admiral started complaining that whereas Europeans learned many languages, Americans learned only English. He then asked: “Why is it that we have to speak English at these conferences rather than speak French?”
Without hesitating, an American Admiral replied: “Maybe it’s because the Brits, Canadians, Aussies and Americans arranged it so you wouldn’t have to speak German.” The group became silent.