14 March 2009

book note: In the Land of Invented Languages

Arika Okrent's book will be released soon. The title is In the Land of Invented Languages: Esperanto Rock Stars, Klingon Poets, Loglan Lovers, and the Mad Dreamers Who Tried to Build A Perfect Language.

A review in Publisher's Weekly describes it thusly: "She surveys “philosophical languages” that order all knowledge into self-evident systems that turn out to be bizarrely idiosyncratic; “symbol languages” of supposedly crystalline pictographs that are actually bafflingly opaque; “basic” languages that throw out all the fancy words and complicated idioms; rigorously logical languages so rule-bound that it's impossible to utter a correct sentence; “international languages,” like Esperanto, that unite different cultures into a single idealistic counterculture; and whimsical “constructed languages” that assert the unique culture and worldview of women, Klingons or chipmunks."

You can read an article Okrent wrote about Esperanto culture several years ago here.


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