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The Littlest Conlanger

From:The Gray Wizard <dbell@...>
Date:Sunday, July 9, 2000, 10:58
I often marvel at the sophistication of the conlanging work done by our
youngest participants.  I recall my earliest dabbling in the Secret Vice at
about age 12 or 13, but these were primitive compared to the work I have
seen by 16 year olds on this and other lists.  I was recently surprised,
however, to discover that I have a grandniece who has recently taken up the
vice.  At age 5, now 6, she clearly has dibs on the title "The Littlest
Conlanger"  I have dedicated a page on my site
( to her budding endeavors and will
be following her progress with some enthusiasm.  Do take a look and let me
know what you think.  Words of encouragement now could lead to some
significant contributions to the art.


David E. Bell
The Gray Wizard

"You must remember that these things were constructed deliberately to be
personal, and give private satisfaction – not for scientific experiment, nor
yet in expectation of any audience. A consequent weakness is therefore their
tendency, too free as they were from cold exterior criticism, to be
'over-pretty', to be phonetically and semantically sentimental – while their
bare meaning is probably trivial, not full of red blood or the heat of the
world such as critics demand. Be kindly. For if there is any virtue in this
kind of thing, it is in its intimacy, in its peculiarly shy individualism. I
can sympathize with the shrinking of other language-makers, as I experience
the pains of giving away myself, which is little lessened by now occurring
for the second time."

from The Monsters and the Critics and Other Essays - A Secret Vice,
by J.R.R. Tolkien [Houghton Mifflin Company 1984)