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"Coming out" about conlanging to people in Academia [was Re: Caryatic]

From:Thomas R. Wier <artabanos@...>
Date:Friday, July 20, 2001, 9:22
J Matthew Pearson wrote:

> He knew that I was a conlanger (I 'came out' to him about it at one of our > dinners)--but, like most people, he expressed no particular interest in the > details. Neither did he discourage me, though. There are plenty of > conlangers in the linguistics field, most of them flying just below the > radar.
How many of us here have "come out" to people in academia, and what have the responses been like? An anecdote: A couple months ago I attended a session of the UT Linguistic Circle, after which everyone customarily always goes over to the Texas Union's pub for some beer and good conversation. Somehow, the topic got onto languages people knew, and someone mentioned that they knew some Esperanto, at which point I quietly affirmed the same. I then mentioned that I had gotten disillusioned with Esperanto and thereafter began trying to make my own. There was a weird dichotomy: the people who weren't in tenured or tenure- track positions gave the verbal equivalent of a blink, and politely asked about it, while those who were, while not acting impolitely, gave me a look like "What a bizarre thing you have just said". I immediately noticed this, and tried to play it down by quoting the joke my friend occasionally says about me needing to find someone else to hold up the other end of the politcal banner demanding language rights for speakers of my language. The guy I was talking to gave a kind of nervous laugh and immediately changed the subject. It was a weird experience, and has made me chary of opening up publically about my conlanging. =================================== Thomas Wier | AIM: trwier "Aspidi men Saiôn tis agalletai, hên para thamnôi entos amômêton kallipon ouk ethelôn; autos d' exephugon thanatou telos: aspis ekeinê erretô; exautês ktêsomai ou kakiô" - Arkhilokhos


Patrick Jarrett <seraph@...>
Tristan Alexander McLeay <zsau@...>
Sylvia Sotomayor <kelen@...>
Padraic Brown <pbrown@...>