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From:John Cowan <cowan@...>
Date:Tuesday, November 3, 1998, 18:45
Sally Caves wrote:

> In other words, what's at stake? Why does AUXLANG have > the reputation for flame wars, and CONLANG not?
I think Marx's 11th thesis on Feuerbach gives us a useful viewpoint: The philosophers have only interpreted the world in various ways; the point is to change it. Auxlangers as a rule want to make such changes in the world: specifically, they want an auxlang, either already existing or soon to be created, to become a widely spoken second language. Rightly or wrongly, the perception is that there is at most one slot for such a thing, so if "my" auxlang "succeeds", then by definition "your" auxlang "fails". So far all have "failed". Artists, including conlang artists, don't typically take this particular competitive attitude: their works are not meant to *refute* or *supersede* the works of others.
> Is it because people have to work together in AUXLANG > and disputes naturally arise, whereas > CONLANGERS can work in isolation...but they sacrifice > team effort and involvement?
No, I think not. Lojban was preeminently a team effort, with the membership of the team fluctuating from time to time, and there were plenty of disputes, but rather few flamewars. Advocacy *of* a language seems to be different from technical disputes about the details of the language itself. Anyway, I object to the use of "conlang" to exclude "auxlang"; there are auxlangs, artlangs, and some conlangs which are neither. For example, Loglan/Lojban and L=E1adan are "experimental" conlangs, and there are also "pedagogical" conlangs, etc. -- = John Cowan You tollerday donsk? N. You tolkatiff scowegian? Nn. You spigotty anglease? Nnn. You phonio saxo? Nnnn. Clear all so! 'Tis a Jute.... (Finnegans Wake 16.5)