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Re: Joseph Smith the Conlanger?

From:Andreas Johansson <andjo@...>
Date:Monday, March 14, 2005, 9:54
Thanks to Philip, Doug, and James for answering!

Quoting "James W." <emindahken@...>:

> On Mar 13, 2005, at 11:18, Andreas Johansson wrote: > > > In a recent online discussion, someone quoted a piece from the Book of > > Mormon > > that contained the word "delightsome". I jokingly asked if that's a > > word (it's > > listed in the AHD, but I don't think I had seen it before). In reply, > > I was > > told that Smith had probably invented it himself; at any rate he > > certainly > > invented a lot of English words when he wrote the Book of Mormon. > > I can't think of any. It could be that since I was raised in the > religion in > question, I'm just used to the terminology. Like Philip, I can only > think of > words for coinage and animals (apart from people and places) that were > "coined."
I suspect, then, that the claim I heard was exaggerated, or simply false. The BoM isn't exactly written in contemporary English; maybe the claimer mistook archaisms for neologisms.
> > Now, I wonder if anyone here knows if the word indeed originates in > > the BoM, if > > it's true Smith invented a lot of words (normal words, not names of > > people and > > places) for the BoM, and if any have entered normal usage, within or > > outside > > the Mormon community. > > > > Andreas > > > None of the words I mentioned (other than people and places) have wider > use, > that I know of, and even the people/places words are pretty much a > Mormon > community exclusive. > > So perhaps you could say that Joseph Smith was a type of neologist, not > a > conlanger. :)
The use of "conlanger" in the thread title was a deliberate overstatement; I don't think inventing exotic names, or coining new English words, make you a conlanger properly so called. If the names are *not* invented by Smith, well, then he's even less of a conlanger.
> Then there's the Deseret Alphabet "conscript" (see > that was short-lived during > Brigham Young's time as leader of the church. It was meant to be a way > to > write English. As to WHY it was created... I don't know the answer to > that one.
Hm. What distinguishes a "conscript" from a plain regular script? The Cherokee syllabary, IIRC, was the work of one man. Hangul was done by committee. The only thing differentiating such from conscripts is that they've been used communicatively for natlangs. Andreas


James W. <emindahken@...>