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A non-identity, non-plundering language pt.1

From:Weld Carter, Jr. <weldc@...>
Date:Wednesday, December 20, 2006, 7:57
       I seek help to construct a language or dialect (see note  
below) that systematically distinguishes ‘name’ from ‘thing named.’  
In such a language, I would hope to present and teach an alternative  
way of seeing the world, and the role of humans in it––a way that no  
longer casts humans as all-powerful dominators and plunderers.

I believe that I can offer a grammar suitable for such a language. My  
colleague, Andy Hilgartner, has derived a grammar, which he has so  
far applied only to a notational way of representing dynamic doings  
or happenings. He described it early on in Appendix V, pp. 24-40, of   
a 1978 paper published in Eco-Logos, under the title ‘You Can’t Get  
There From Here’, subtitled: ‘Every currently-available  
‘lnternational’ or ‘One-World’ language encodes a disqualifying flaw’.

Only recently (Jan. 2006) have Andy and I gotten this 40-page paper  
into electronically readable form. Since I don’t know how to send  
this to the listserve in a manner that preserves essential  
formatting, and we presently lack a webmaster, I offer instead to e- 
mail a copy (in OpenOffice or MSWord format) as an attachment  
directly to anyone who requests it. If asked, I could send it in PDF  
or in .rtf. You can also see some early aspects of the grammar on his  
site:, especially in the file  
designated 067. I also suggest 093 and 060.
We live within––grew up and learned to language in––a culture that  
values ‘objectivity’ over any expressing of a point-of-view. To many,  
the standard for scientific writing requires that it remain  
‘uncontaminated’ by any self-reference. From this stance, subjective  
writing or speaking gets construed as composed of nothing but self- 
referential statements, and that amounts to a criterion for utter  
unreliability. This clearly has to reflect a high degree of self- 
hatred on the part of the evaluator.

But, as I see the matter, for anyone to demand absolute ‘objectivity’  
in my writing or speaking constitutes a rejection––a total devaluing–– 
of my own point-of-view. Such a style expects that I eliminate  
entirely the speaker/writer (me), along with my point-of-view. We  
might fairly view that as a call for a degree of self-effacement  
approaching suicide, both for the author and for the demander.

Now consider the obverse: Whoever claims to speak or write  
‘objectively’, thereby pretends to omniscience––to a deity-like  
certainty. In that sense, such a writer pretends, implicitly, to see  
with the eye of the deity, and equally outrageous, to speak with the  
voice of that entity.
As I see it, most of the world’s languages derive from the western  
Indo-European (wIE) grammar, and rely on the assumptions encoded in,  
and largely enforced by, that grammar. Wherever a language, grammar,  
or dialect fails systematically to distinguish between two plainly  
distinguishable items, it treats them as identical––as differing in  
no detail. In treating noun1 as identical with noun1, it further  
treats whatever noun1 designates or points at as static and  
unchanging over time. Where noun1 designates (names) a person, the  
absurdity becomes hard to deny.

What do I mean, and what do I wish a listener to take in––to  
understand as my meaning–– when I assert that I regard some statement  
as true or accurate? I want a language that facilitates acknowledging  
that assertion as my position, held at this particular time in my  
ever-changing learning process, and based on my present state of  
theorizing (guessing), and on my present assessment of the accuracy  
of the reports from others upon which I have based my theorizing. In  
other words, I seek a language that, in all its declarations, calls  
for acknowledging and conveying to a reader or listener that the  
speaker speaks from a particular point-of-view, as of a particular  
date. I further want such a language to call for veridicals, to give  
notice to a listener or reader of the degree of trustworthiness the  
speaker claims, or has relied upon or assumed in framing her/his  

(Break here for the note promised in the first line): As a long- 
confirmed anarchist, I explicitly don’t want what Benct quotes, in  
his signature block, as distinguishing a language from a dialect:

“Benct Philip Jonsson -- melroch at melroch dot se

a shprakh iz a dialekt mit an armey un flot (end of note)

I do find myself comfortable with a dialect, With Andy, I choose to  
write in one devised by D. David Bourland, Jr., which he designated,  
in his 1991 book; ‘To be or Not’ as E-prime. I have rarely had anyone  
notice!  That way of writing follows advice from Korzybski by  
eliminating all variants of the verb ‘to be’. By preventing the  
passive mode, it has the added advantage of requiring me to make  
explicit the agent or doer.

I hope and intend that someone or someones may build up, in response  
to this post, a dialect or language. If, jointly, we should succeed  
at that, I see the potential that such a way of speaking, writing,  
and understanding may become a start––a trigger––for a ‘social chain  
reaction’ that can support improvements in how we see and in how we  
treat the world we occupy. IMHO, only that way might we return to  
inhabiting it, rather than treating it in the uncaring way an  
occupation force does.

Weld S Carter, Jr.


Christopher Bates <chris.maths_student@...>