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Linguistic shoplifting

From:Jim Grossmann <steven@...>
Date:Thursday, February 7, 2002, 5:29
Linguistic shoplifting?

True, the place of borrowed words in an alien or a priori conlang deserves some
thought. But shouldn't a conlanger feel free to put any desired word into a
conlang? (Insert Frank Sinatra's version of "My Way" here.) I used to "sign" my
alien conlangs by having the words for "bird" be "wazo." I don't know French;
the signature just seemed like a fun thing to do.

Some conlangs swim in stolen words. Let's not forget auxlangs like Esperanto and
Interlingua. Let's not forget artlangs designed to remind us of some natural
language or language family, like the celticonlangs much discussed on this list
not too long ago. Dare I mention my own Goesk?

Whether you call them shoplifted words or loanwords, taking them is legal, kosher,
and--for some of us--too much fun to resist.

Jim G.