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At 10:42 PM 3/12/02 -0800, Jim Grossmann wrote:
>Why not use the author's aims as the implicit standard, and then criticize
>on the basis of whether the author accomplished the aims?

    I've mostly been staying out of this discussion, but I figured I could
throw in my tuppence' worth about here.
    This is basically where I'm at on the issue.  Any art should simply do
what it sets out to do; a piece of music that sets out to express chaos and
violence but instead sounds more like something from a 1980s chase-'em
video game (yes, I have one such song) is bad, even if a song very like it
is good because it set out to sound like something from a 1098s chase-'em
video game.
    For Rav Zarruvo I set out to create a language that would have a very
alien sound and look, and be challenging to speak but not too difficult to
learn.  I'm not sure how successful I was since AFAIK nobody on this list
has been able to download a legible copy (Adobe PDF Writer is supposed to
embed fonts such as the ones WordPerfect uses for characters with
diacritics, but for some reason that isn't happening).
    Along another line of thought, I have my own standards for what I look
for in a "usable" conlang -- in short, a Web presence with grammar,
vocabulary, and native writing system.  That doesn't mean that languages
that don't have their own native writing systems are bad; in fact, those
that are derived from natlangs should *not* have their own writing systems,
but use Roman, Cyrillic, or whatever writing system is used in the
derived-from language.  When I come across a language and evaluate it for
the creator, I'll look at what the creator's intent was and evaluate it on
that basis (just as you suggest, Jim).

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