Theiling Online    Sitemap    Conlang Mailing List HQ   

"Coming out"

From:dirk elzinga <dirk.elzinga@...>
Date:Thursday, July 26, 2001, 15:39

I've been interested to read of the experiences list members
have had when "coming out" as conlangers. I've never really had
a "problem"; I don't make a big deal of my conlanging, but I
don't try to hide it, either. In my family I've already cornered
the "weird" market for being a linguist and an academic, so as
far as they're concerned, conlanging is just par for the course.

I did have one experience in particular which was a little
anxiety-laden. I was applying for a job in an English dept (they
wanted a linguist), and one of the faculty mentioned that he'd
seen the webpage I had at the time, which contained Tepa grammar
material. My heart sank, until he said that he thought it was
very interesting and that it looked like a lot of fun to do. He
then told me that he was into RPG, and wrote horror and fantasy
to relax. (This came with the injunction that I never share
either his or my little hobbies with other faculty members).

This also reminds me of experiences I've had with another hobby
of mine, string figures. I always keep a loop of string in my
pocket, but I'm a little shy about doing them in public (i.e.,
where others can see me). I'm more at ease when I'm showing
little kids some figures. I'm especially fond of Navajo,
Kwakiutl, and Eskimo figures; some are fairly elaborate and
realistic in their depiction of animals and other object of the
natural world. I have a small collection of Tepa string figures
which will eventually make their way to a web page.


Dirk Elzinga                

"The strong craving for a simple formula
has been the undoing of linguists."               - Edward Sapir


John Cowan <jcowan@...>
Boudewijn Rempt <bsarempt@...>
Damon M. Lord <lorddm@...>