by. "Coming out" about conlanging to people
|From:||James Campbell <james@...>|
|Date:||Tuesday, July 24, 2001, 8:43|
Leadfoot eskrë »
> Has anyone ever gotten a good response from others (who didn't conlang)
> about this kind of thing?
Amazingly, almost always the response has been an interested one. I've often
felt embarrassed when I was outed by a well-meaning friend (as happened a
few days ago: "Mum, this is James. He's made up his own language, you
know."), but I've never had a put-down, or anyone visibly shocked; at worst
the response has been one of quiet and brief puzzlement.
I made no secret of Jameld right from the start -- most people at school
knew about it, and I even tried to propagate interest in the Jameld
Association (BJZ) among friends (i.e. people I hung around with and who beat
me up less frequently than the others). One friend actually started to
devise his own tongue (Sniklan -- wow, how come I can still remember that,
18 years later?) but later denied any such activity. Younger kids would come
up to me in the library at lunchtime and say one of two things: "You're
brainy, aren't you?" (in a slightly unsettling tone of voice, which meant
that either derisive laughter or a genuine serious question about chemistry
would follow) or "Go on, say something in your language."
So, as you can see, "coming out" never really happened. I was out in the
first place. I suppose some of those kids were mocking my conlanging, but I
couldn't tell the difference between that and the generic mocking I received
all the time anyway.
Teacherswise, I can recall very early on talking to my German teacher about
it -- or at least, I can recall the result, not the conversation. I had been
having trouble settling on a decent Jameld word for "yellow", mainly because
it was very early days and I hadn't twigged the connexion between the
English and the German "gelb". He clearly wanted to encourage this little
Bluebottle-lookalike's interest in such things, and gave me the address of
the Esperanto Association. Bloke.
In later (adult) years, my friends have always known about Jameld, and in
fact through it I gained a bunch of new friends through the publicity I got
from Zolid Matters (the not-at-all-serious Jameld Association newsletter
which I wrote from 92-97), which got passed around and faxed to distant
friends-of-friends. My friends these days are real ones who never beat me up
at all <g>, and who love me for being me; Jameld is just accepted. Often
I'll get asked what the Jameld for something-or-other is. Some friends even
call me Jamets on occasion. My parents have always been good about it,
humouring me without taking any particular interest. My grandmother's never
really understood it at all though; it's a bit too weird for her.
The only time I was really nervous about coming out was with my
then-girlfriend a couple of years ago. I didn't want to put her off,
naturally enough. She knew just about everything else about me (including my
fascination for languages - we often had talked about my learning Norwegian)
by the time I finally revealed my secret... and she was so sweet about it I
needn't have worried. We ended up sending text messages containing snippets
I guess I'm just lucky.
firstname.lastname@example.org James Campbell Zeugma--Our Life Is Design www.zolid.com
If you want to find the way back home, I'll just step aside
If you're lost and you want to stay lost, I could be your guide
Colorblind James 1952-2001