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Re: conlanging and journaling

From:Jim Henry <jimhenry1973@...>
Date:Tuesday, February 12, 2008, 23:56
On 2/12/08, Rick Harrison <rick@...> wrote:

> No diarist writes down everything he does or every thought > that crosses her mind during the course of the day. We > censor ourselves, omitting many of the negative thoughts, > the less than praiseworthy deeds, the less than helpful > things we say to others. We portray ourselves as being a lot > more saintly than we actually are.
That was one of my main reasons for wanting to create gzb and write my journal in it: so I could afford to be honest about my faults. Even then, though, time limits my options. I can't possibly write everything that happens, and a fortiori I can't do so in gzb in which I write more slowly than in English. (See _Tristram Shandy_.) If I'm not filtering for the events and deeds that show me in a good light, I'm still filtering for what seems most interesting.
> (Thoreau's journals are perhaps the most incredibly extreme > example of social posturing within a journal; take a gander > at them sometime. My respect for Thoreau plummeted when I > read some of his journals.)
I read a book of excerpts from Thoreau's journals many years ago, probably when I was in high school. I don't remember much about them, except that I enjoyed them though not as much as _Walden_. I think I remember reading in the introduction to said book that most of _Walden_ started out as journal entries. The other journal entries felt like more of the same, though not quite as good.
> > If by "for an audience" you mean "hoping that others > > will actually learn and use your conlang", yes, that > > indeed limits your options, but only as any set of > > goals and design criteria naturally limits your options > > once chosen. > > Agreed. Although I would say, if attracting users is a > design criterion, you might be basing your work on a mistaken > belief that you know what will attract users. I don't think > anybody has quantified what qualities made Klingon, Lojban, > Toki Pona, Esperanto relatively popular; it seems to have more > to do with the milieu than anything in the language designs.
Yes, there's a huge amount of luck involved in whether a language attracts users or not. All you can do is make the language interesting and learnable, and hope for the best. -- Jim Henry