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The magic of conlang (was: Has anyone made a real conlang?)

From:Harald Stoiber <hstoiber@...>
Date:Tuesday, April 22, 2003, 19:12
Greetings and waves to everybody! :-))

Instead of defending our beloved hobby against a much too dogmatic
list of arguments, I will rather line out what I personally like about
conlanging and why I wouldn't stop doing it - even without "useful"
results. So, I will simply pour out my beliefs, preferences and
thoughts for you to read... :-)

Creating languages is also learning to think for a second time. It is about
meaning, about redundancy, about hidden distinctions that we would never
discover by just using our existent languages which we are perfectly used
to. Conlanging opens the mind and it IS definitely a way of expression.
Yes, it is an art which gladly delivers a personal experience that is known
and loved by every artist I know: the exceedingly great pleasure of the human
mind which is able to express itself thoroughly, easily and deeply.

Creating languages is learning to speak for a second time - and to hear!
Since I have started conlanging in March last year, my ears are much more
(actually: much much much more ;-) perceptive for the beauty of the spoken
word. It is very much like the difference in hearing music between a musician
and somebody who only "utilizes" music as a tool to have something nice
playing. For a whole-hearted musician it is wow rather than just nice. And so
it is for the passionate conlanger. :-))

I think that most of the debate simply points out the key difference between
craftsmanship and art. The craftsman is only satisfied if the outcome is a
practical advantage whereas the artist only rejoyces if the outcome is
well-formed, elegant and beautiful in its own right, absolutely free and
originally independent of any justification regarding the resulting

Oh may the craftsman respect the artist and may all the gentle artists
forgive the craftsman if he knocks to loudly with his hammer at the walls
of their ivory towers! *gggg*

I feel grateful that I am allowed and able to create languages. And sometimes
even non-artistic benefits stem from conlanging. While musing about how to
represent the relations of adjectives, adverbs and nouns, I accidently discovered
a significant improvement to an already patented data storage algorithm which I
had invented earlier. From this day on I have been convinced that actually no
software engineer can seriously afford to stay away from conlanging. *ggg*
It's inspiring!!! :-))))

Take care and have a good time,



H. S. Teoh <hsteoh@...>
Christophe Grandsire <christophe.grandsire@...>
Sally Caves <scaves@...>