Theiling Online    Sitemap    Conlang Mailing List HQ   

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 of Jameld. I guess I'm just lucky. James ========================================================================= James Campbell Zeugma--Our Life Is Design 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 =========================================================================