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Results of Poll by Email No. 5

From:Peter Clark <pc451@...>
Date:Sunday, March 31, 2002, 0:25
Hash: SHA1

        This week was a quieter one, apparently. Only 19 of you answered, so this
will be a little shorter than in the past. To refresh your memories, the
question asked, "What do you need to conlang well?" The results:
        A. Music. (2 responses, 11%)
        B. Grammar/survey/teach-yourself books. (4 responses, 21%)
        C. The CONLANG list. (2 responses, 11%)
        D. Silence. (2 responses, 11%)
        E. Alcohol/nicotine/narcotics of some sort. (1 responses, 5%)
        F. Hearing other languages. (1 responses, 5%)
        G. Other. (7 responses, 37%)

        Not all the respondants provided interesting/amusing answers, so not all the
categories will be covered.

        David (DigitalScream@aol) revealed his weakness when he answered (A): "I
can't do anything without music.  If there's no music playing, I hear the
silence, and it drives me nuts.  Language creation is no different.  Have
to have it."

        Andreas Johansson complained when answering (C), "It's REALLY EVIL to force
people to single out one factor like this, but the quality of my conlanging
(as I perceive it) has much increased since joining the list, and I have
learnt much on it and got much inspiration form other peoples efforts." Yes,
Andreas, it was evil of me to try to pound all you square pegs into a round
hole, which is why I am considering turning this into a web poll, rather than
an email poll, so that you can give multiple answers without me having to do
all the various calculations. :)

        The lone respondant for (E), Nicole Dobrowolski, insisted that she needs "the
natural high of being a crazy monkey girl, which fortunately is very easy to
come by when you're me..." Riiiiiight...

        Lots of people listed other inspirations under (G); Taliesin considers
"ripening" the most important factor: "I learn something, see something,
think something, and days, maybe years later it suddenly affects my
conlanging and I get a great Eureka! moment where some
syntax/phonology-problem or wart mysteriously goes away, or the perfect shape
and meaning merges and crystallizes into one of the few words that are
*right* and can never change or be replaced."
        Bonus points go to Sylvia Sotomayor, who listed her job as her most
important aid to conlanging: "My job consists of talking to professors about
what they need to teach the class. While most of the time this is fairly
mundane, every so often I find someone utterly fascinating to talk to, and
just being immersed in an intellectual environment leads to more work on my
language. The five years I spent as just a regular sales rep, I hardly got
any conlanging done at all. Since I started "selling" to professors, I've
done lots. Having the summers mostly off helps, too. I think of my job as
having some of the plusses of being a grad student without any of the
minuses. (Of course, it has other minuses, but ...) "
        And Rosta mentioned that he needed time, while nicotine is something of a
given for him. Raymond Brown finds his inspiration in "an insatiable
curiosity about language; a lifetime of delving into every language I can lay
my hands on; a challenge to create something new." And some of you are
natural geniuses, like Arnt Johansen, who needs "nothing in particular to
conlang well."
        Thanks to everyone who participated, and stay tune for Polly by Email No. 6!
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Frank George Valoczy <valoczy@...>