Saturday, April 24, 2010

Post #156. Cool book on aux-langs!

D: my friend Laura recommended this.

About the Author
Arika Okrent received a joint PhD in the Department of Linguistics and the Department of Psychology's Cognition and Cognitive Neuroscience Program at the University of Chicago. She has also earned her first-level certification in Klingon

In the Land of Invented Languages
Just about everyone has heard of Esperanto, which was nothing less than one man’s attempt to bring about world peace by means of linguistic solidarity. And every Star Trek fan knows about Klingon, which was nothing more than a television show’s attempt to create a tough-sounding language befitting a warrior race with ridged foreheads. But few people have heard of Babm, Blissymbolics, and the nearly nine hundred other invented languages that represent the hard work, high hopes, and full-blown delusions of so many misguided souls over the centuries.

In In The Land of Invented Languages, author Arika Okrent tells the fascinating and highly entertaining history of man’s enduring quest to build a better language.

"A lively, informative, insightful examination of artificial languages -- who invents them, why, and why most of them fail. I loved this book."

- Will Shortz, Crossword Editor, New York Times

D: actually, the large majority of people I've met have NEVER heard of Esperanto.
They HAVE heard of Klingon.
In the blue-collar world, people have also never heard of Chomsky.
I nearly fell over when I realized that.
(Shakes head sadly.)

Jason, my roomie, pointed out the sad story of Hitler and Zamenhof's family.

Three decades after Zamenhof's death Hitler's Germany and Stalin's Soviet Union deemed Esperanto a dangerous part of some ill-defined Zionist conspiracy. During World War II Zamenhof's grown children, Adam, Zofia and Lidja, were all imprisoned and executed by Nazi Germany.

D: I reiterate my criticisms of Esperanto. What is OK for Europe may not be OK for the rest of the world. And don't treat the public like beta-testers. That is uncool with video games, and it is myopic with aux-langs. Plus don't think a Model T Ford is the solution to our transportion solution - go forward, not back. Classic, yes. Obsolete, also yes.


Brian Barker said...

Arika's book is a terrific read.

Personally I think that the choice of a future of a new global language lies between Esperanto and English, rather than an untried project.

Your readers may be interested the following video

A glimpse of Esperanto can be seen at

dino snider said...

I hereafter refer to Esp******o as Espo. It beats these Google 'key term' updates, and the inevitable cult brochures that follow. You should see the hate sites dedicated to Mal-Espo author's critique. I should manage to post a very limited vocabulary by year's end for CVN. See dinsnide66 LJ blog.