01 March 2008


The results of this blog's first poll are in. Question: "do you maintain a private diary/journal?" Six responders do so on paper, six do so electronically, and six do not maintain a journal at all.

What's the connection to lang design? Mainly that you can do whatever the hell you want with your journal if there is no chance of anyone else ever reading it. But if you're writing it in plain English (or other natlang) and not keeping it locked in a safe, there is a natural tendency to censor one's self, to omit any reference to your own misdeeds and darkest thoughts. Those who have the most freedom in journalling are those who burn or shred their journals frequently.

Likewise one's freedom in language design is affected by how much thought one gives to the potential audience, if any.

Next poll, how do you feel about the word conlang? To me it has a fairly negative sound, due to the meanings of con: convicted criminals (ex-cons), scam artists (con men), and negative arguments (pros and cons). If I recall correctly this word was hastily coined when John Ross needed a short name (8 characters of less) for the mailing list he was creating back in '91. There's no reason to get attached to such a thing. What aesthetic impression does the word make on you?

1 comment:

riku said...

Why did I write "8 characters of less" when I meant "8 characters or less"? Probably because I've been reading a Dutch book about Papiamentu... in both languages of corresponds to English or. Yay, it's interference!