Re: Linguist's Of The Apocalypse, unite!

Chris Hind (
Wed, 29 Jan 1997 00:01:14 -0800

> I'm afraid that this extends to be more of a pesky memetic problem
>than one of linguistics. It is how people use the language...not the
>language itself. Ask Eugene Leitl...he'll tell you that there are 'sexist'
>words in Germany; likewise, Anders could tell you the same for the Swedish
>language. Most words in *any* language are ambiguous, and thankfully so.
>Ambiguity *increases* freedom of perception --it hones a language and gives
>it character-- rather than illeviating such freedom. So before we try to
>quell certain words in English (why am I reminded of "1984"?), we should
>modify the perception. Personally, I have no qualms with the
>life is based upon it! Enough rambling.

Ridding the English language of sexist words is as pointless as attempting
to rid the english language of Christianity-related words. The ideas are so
deeply engrained in our fundamental language and no longer hold true to
their original meaning brings up the question: Whats the point in trying?
Are people that psychologically weak that they're so easily offended?

>The particular means in which I find the most promise is Lojban,
>though I would add to it an ideographic writing system, a hypertext
>protocol, a gestural form, and some other tweaks. I am certainly
>open to alternative ideas, but the only ones I've heard so far are
>half-assed attempts like Esperanto and E-prime. Lojban is at least
>a three-quarter-assed attempt. I am optimistic that it can do some
>great things, and I am puzzled by the lack of interest. I will
>have to take it upon myself to do the work of further evangelizing
>it by making more materials available on my web site or elsewhere.

How about create a website w/realaudio vocal pronunciations of the
fundamental words rather than phonetic captions. If there are people who
learn Klingon and Pig Latin, why not Lojban? They should introduce it by
having an alien race on Star Trek speak it. How about a rogue human colony?
I myself see great things in a more graphical or 3D object based language
such as described in Neil Stephenson's Diamond Age in what he calls

"Risk: You cannot discover new oceans unless you have the courage
to lose sight of the shore."

Chris Hind ( Upward, Outward, ACTION!
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