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Re: How did you find out that there were other conlangers?

From:And Rosta <and.rosta@...>
Date:Sunday, October 14, 2007, 14:55
Sai Emrys, On 13/10/2007 21:34:
> How did you find out that there were other conlangers?
Well, I had a friend was also a conlanger -- was more advanced on his conlang than me indeed -- and I knew Tolkien did. So I inferred that there must be lots of conlangers about. There wasn't the internet in those days, so I joined the Tolkien Society (finding out about it from a notice in the back of a Tolkien book) & then subscribed to _Quettar_, the British Elvish linguistics journal, & later was in touch with the editor, Julian Bradfield, by email. Then some time later Julian Bradfield set up the email list Tolklang & invited me to join. Then some time later John Ross sent messages to various places such as sci.lang and Tolklang asking if anybody was interested in invented languages. A few people, me included, replied, and about half a dozen of us started emailing one another. Before long, John Ross simplified the logistics of the discussion by setting up the Conlang list. At that time, though, conlangers were in a small minority on the list, and there were no artlangers (save maybe for me), tho the odd artlang, such as Taneraic or Glaugnea, had been heard of. Then the web came along in 1993 o4 1994 or so, and the advent of search engines, and all of a sudden the list membership mushroomed and loads of artlangers joined the list and loads of artlangs were published online here and yon.
> How did you find out that it was called "conlanging",
It wasn't called conlanging in them days. I privately called it Glossopoeia, which is also what it was called by Steve Deyo, editor of the Glossopoeic Quarterly, a conlang magazine that antedated the internet communities. (Other such zines of the 1980s were Javant Biarujia's Taboo Jadoo and Rick Harrison's Journal of Planned Languages.)
> or find any of the online resources in general?
The only online resource for Conlangs back then was the ftp archive Mark Shoulson maintained at Columbia, the Planned Language Server, I think it was called.
> How could that be made easier - so that conlangers who think they're > The Only Ones (didn't the majority of us start out that way?) can > easily be connected to the rest of us, have more resources at their > disposal, etc.
Hmm. Suppose age 12 is the earliest age at which any conlanger yearns to make contact with other conlangers. (We've deffo had 14 year olds on Conlang; I don't know if there've been younger.) 1981 or so is the latest that any first world conlanger could have been born and reached the age of 12 without being able to search online for invented languages.
> Basically, I'd like to improve the reaching-out that we do, but I'm > not sure how to go about it. Even using the term 'conlanger' is > something that's community-internal. Once you know a few resources, > the rest are relatively easy to find - it's that initial step of > realizing that there might even *be* something out there, and finding > it, that is difficult.
I can't believe that in 2007 it is possible for an undimwitted anglophone to google for invented languages and not discover the existence of the online conlanging community. Young folk these days, they don't know how lucky they are... --And.