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Re: About the Gaelic-L thing

From:Howlsedhes Services <kam@...>
Date:Sunday, July 7, 2002, 15:04
John Cowan <jcowan@...> wrote :

> Stephen DeGrace scripsit:
>> Thanks for the link, but I think the best thing is not >> to take Ms Gunn seriously or argue with her directly >> in any case, the page could have been whipped up to >> create a "cover" in approximately five minutes, it's >> nothing but a few links.
> That is not the case. I was a frequenter of the site in > happier days, and am in a position to assure you of Ms. Gunn's > legitimacy. She is who and what she claims to be, though I > had no idea that she harbored such an animus against conlangs > and conlanging, a fact made more remarkable that (in said > happier days) the site actually hosted a Klingon poem, > though not (to be sure) by Ms. Gunn.
> I suspect, though I have no knowledge of it, that the animus > is in fact coterminous with the removal of that poem: > guilt by association, as it were.
Interesting. I can confirm that MG has been around for a while, notably as a partner in Everson-Gunn Teo. an Irish language orientated software, typesetting and publishing company. She may have been intemperant in this instance but I can't believe she's a troll. (I've encountered one or two trolls, one or two is quite enough!) That said, I wonder how, why, or by whom she was "primed" to explode in this fashon. I'm also somewhat alarmed that such negative views of conlanging should be circulating among groups who ought to know better. Conlanging is an imaginative and playful application of linguistic knowledge and principles. It seems to me to be closely related to such perfectly serious endeavours as historical reconstruction and language planning, and like any sort of play to have great educational value if nothing else. Why should a bit of imagination scare the pants off people? no one objects to say the wild "thought experiments" of theoretical physicists. Nor are the Irish renowned for their lack of imagination. My feeling is that we've probably walked in on someone else's row. MG is an Irish Language advocate, and the status of Irish is to say the least paradoxical. To quote the lady herself : "Although legally and technically Irish speakers have access rights to all their needs in Ireland, practially speaking, they live in such an English enviroment that they have much in common with linguistically-oppressed EU minorities elsewhere ..." So Irish speakers feel oppressed by English, but OTOH the English speaking majority probably feel oppressed by the state's sometimes ham-fisted attempts to foist Irish on them, notably (until quite recently) compulsory Irish in school, and the need for Irish qualifications in the Civil Service etc.Just what do you do when a nation's "First Official Language" is the everyday medium of only a tiny minority and the majority are happy with the language of their former colonial masters? Are there parallels elsewhere, in parts of the former USSR perhaps? Given this background it's perhaps not too surprising that Irish language advocates are touchy about some subjects. I wonder if anyone has attempted to discredit Modern Standard Irish by calling it a "made up language" (which it must be to some degree, having to bridge three divergent traditional dialects). If so the very idea that people might blatantly invent languages could appear arrogant and threatening. All the same, the World Conspiracy stuff is just plain paranoia and difficult to reconcile with MG's status. [Copy to MG as it's not nice to talk behind people's backs] Keith Mylchreest