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Re: CONLANG Digest - 4 Oct 1998 to 5 Oct 1998

From:Sally Caves <scaves@...>
Date:Thursday, October 8, 1998, 5:15
> On Tue, 6 Oct 1998 13:17:46 -0500, "Sheets, Jeff" <JSheets@...> > wrote: > > > Surveys have > >run rampant recently, here's a three question survey. Would you > >consider the term "Bizarre" as a reasonable adjective to describe the > >pastime of conlanging? Would you describe your conlang as bizarre? > >What would you translate bizarre as in your language(s)?
I think that there are other pursuits that I would be more willing to call "bizarre." I think spending years trying to make it into Guiness World Records to be the fastest person to eat the most bananas, or the person who can balance the tallest stack of drinking glasses on his chin for the longest period of time and without protective eye goggles as bizarre bordering on dangerous. There was a woman in Rochester who made it on the local news as setting her cap for the Guiness World Records: she could make the longest peel from one apple by keeping it thread thin. They interviewed her. She's practiced for years. When I think of the time that she has given to that when she could be painting or making miniatures, or learning a new language, or visiting Stonehenge, I'm just baffled, and what we do here seems less and less bizarre and more and more in keeping with other artistic or intellectual pursuits. No, my conlang is not bizarre. It's involved, though, and it has no one to speak it save myself. An outsider might consider this to be as bizarre as spending years of my life peeling ever thinner pieces of unbroken apple core, but for me it has a life of its own as vivid as making a model village. In fact, I attribute my great interest in miniatures to the same impulse. I think it has to do as well with my fascination for robots, automata, moving statues: I am fascinated with the simulacrum. The false village, the false language, the false human, that tell us verities. And if I have simulated a village or a language and put my own stamp of originality on it, then that's an achievement. As for Teonaht? It's no more bizarre than Welsh. To me, that is. The word for "bizarre" could be rendered in Teonaht as _nyehra_, "strange," _to dorifanrem_, "frightening," _gohheandyt_ "from the wilderness," or _vovikkandyt_, "not from home." These are epithets I would apply to anyone who calls me a lunatic for inventing a language instead of balancing forks on my chin. ;-) ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ Sally Caves Rin euab ouarjo vopy vytssema tohda uo zef: ar al aippara brottwav; ad kemban aril yllefo brotwav fenom; vybbrysan brotwav an; he ad edirmerem brotwav kronom. "A cat and a man are not all that different. Both are on my bed; both lay their head on their arm; both have mustaches; both purr when they sleep." ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++