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 egt.ie 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 egt.ie 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]