Why we don't discuss auxlangs on CONLANG list
|From:||Rick Morneau <ram@...>|
|Date:||Thursday, November 5, 1998, 12:03|
Ray Brown writes:
> But surely if a conlang of whatever nature is mentioned here, may we not
> discuss it? I think both Matt & David (and others) do agree on that point.
I also agree, but there is an important distinction between artlangs and
auxlangs that we have to keep in mind. Artlangers are not trying to
"sell" their languages, while auxlangers ARE trying. Because of this,
IAL designers have to be willing to listen to objective criticism of
their designs, and some (most? all?) are simply not willing to do this.
In the early days of this list, I pointed out what I considered to be
flaws in some auxlangs. The result was long heated arguments that got
nowhere except to cause a lot of bad feelings.
I DO want to discuss the technical strengths and weaknesses of various
designs (especially my own!), but I've been burnt by experience. I love
discussing the best ways to accomplish certain language design goals.
But this, by implication, may mean that other approaches are not as
good. Which means that you'll step on someone's toes, whether you want
to or not.
And then the fighting begins.
Another thing to consider is that artlangers can afford to be flexible.
If you point out a better way to do something, most artlangers will
thank you for the good advice and make an appropriate change in their
language. Auxlangers, on the other hand, may not have this luxury,
especially if their designs are complete or nearly complete, and change
is impractical. Instead, an auxlanger may feel the need to defend their
choices. To do otherwise would be to admit that their design is flawed.
It's almost impossible to get into a fight when discussing an artlang.
It's almost inevitable with an auxlang.
Maybe that's why most people don't want to discuss auxlangs on this
Rick Morneau firstname.lastname@example.org Denizen of Idaho, USA