On Tuesday, August 31, 2004, at 12:51 , B. Garcia wrote:

> On Mon, 30 Aug 2004 19:15:05 +0100, Ray Brown <[log in to unmask]>
> wrote:
>> Who says we want a _Greek_ deity? As I've already pointed out, the Greeks
>> simply divided the world into two camps: those who spoke a proper,
>> civilized language (i.e. Greek), and those who didn't. The latter were
>> all
>> 'barbaroi'. A conlang, as far these deities were concerned, would be
>> another barbarous tongue.
> Yeesh Ray, are you this much of a killjoy in real life?

Hang on! Hang on! This thread started with the assumption that the goddess
would be Greek. I questioned why and gave a reason why maybe a Greek deity
was not the most appropriate one. I then added the *positive* suggestion
(and I quote):
"If you need a goddess of conlanging, then IMO you need to look to a
different pantheon."

I was attempting to open up the discussion in order to make it more

So when you then suggested a Greek deity (and IMO not a very exciting one)
, I just want to know why you wanted stick with Greeks? And I repeated the
reason why I thought a Greek deity is probably less appropriate than some

Can't quite see what joy I'm supposed to be killing. What I was trying to
kill was boredom.

Gosh - we have the *whole planet* to choose from. Why do we have to get so
hung up with ancient Greek deities? I find them almost as boring as I find
euroclone conlangs.

If this is supposed to be a fun thing, let's use a bit of imagination!

>> So if a pagan deity is wanted, I guess the  Egyptian 'Thoth' is a
>> suitable
>> candidate; but the original request, as the subject line shows, was for
>> a
>> goddess.
> But who says we want an _Egyptian_ god/dess? (Throwing it back at
> you).

I did not say that and AFAIK no one else has said it. I merely said if you
want a patron deity, then as far as I can see, Thoth would be a suitable

> Who says we can't have a god and a goddess,

No one, as far as I know. All I pointed out was that the original question
- as the subject line surely shows - was about a goddess.

> as Thoth was
> associated with languages, etc. etc. but Seshet was the goddess of
> actual writing and also was the keeper of the books.

OK - Seshet.

But it would be nice to have candidates from other pantheons. Why ignore
the ancient Celts & Germans? Are there no Hindu deities suitable? And what
about the Americas? Are there no suitable deities there?

>> Surely the bird has to a parrot - the African Grey is probably the best.
> Why a parrot? Why not a Cockatiel? Or a cockatoo, ALL of those can be
> made to speak,

So who's being a killjoy now? Yes, I do know other birds can be made to
speak. I'm told, for example, that jackdaws can be made to speak. But
parrots don't have to be _made_ to speak.

The point was that parrots are for many people the 'archetypal' talking
bird. It was merely a suggestion.

> why does it have to be an african grey even if we go
> with parrots, hmmmmm?

If you read my words, I did not say it _had_ to be. Where I come from "is
probably the best" would be taken as a _suggestion_.

But as to why I suggested the African Grey - I have been told that the
African Grey is among the most intelligent of parrots and one of the best
talkers. I may have been misinformed.

>> Why the Arbutus? The tree that actually 'speaks' is the Aspen, isn't it?
>> (called in Welsh "tafod y merched" - girls' tongue [sic] - 'cause it is
>> always chattering)
> Yes, but again why should we go with what the Welsh (or anyone else)
> though would speak? I've seen aspen, their "speaking" is random noise
> of leaves fluttering.

Um - I seem to recall that some conlangers have created their vocabularies
with 'random flutterings'. I quoted Welsh because I am familiar with it &
didn't have time to look up other references (tho I know they exist).

In any case, those of us with imagination hear more than just random noise
of leaves fluttering. You can hear that from any deciduous tree.

> Why not go with something that actually was made
> useful and was used for writing?

Don't recall saying we shouldn't. I merely asked why you suggested an
arbutus (pardon me for asking) and threw out aspen as a suggestion, giving
a reason for my suggestion.

> Why not the Talipot Palm, Corypha
> umbraculifera, which is what was used in South India as "paper" for
> writing (and besides it's much more impressive than any Aspen... it
> flowers once and dies, sending up the largest inflorescence in the
> world).

..and of course beech bark was used among the Germanic peoples for writing;
  that's why 'book' and 'beech' are cognate words.

> Note: I'm only being a bit sarcastic here due to how intensely serious
> Ray seems about this,

Sorry if making a point, having it apparently ignored, and then repeating
the point is supposed to be "intensely serious". The simple fact is that
if I was being serious (let's forget the intensely nonsense), I would be
taking a very different line. But I shan't because I want it to be a bit
of fun.

> everyone, myself included), have a bit of fun with this. Instead of
> shooting people down by saying things like "who says we want a _Greek_
> god",

Yes, but the point was that I had already suggested looking at _other_
pantheons - precisely to make the exercise a bit more interesting and a
bit more fun.

> suggest a few others and leave it up to the group to vote.

I did actually suggest Thoth (tho I admit - since {sigh} you seem to be in
serious mode - one is not a few). I did intend to make one or two other
suggestions, but real world considerations got in the way. Sorry about

Why - even a con-goddess is a possibility. I therefore suggest 'Pitaku',
goddess of conlanging.


On Tuesday, August 31, 2004, at 02:15 , Paul Bennett wrote:

> On Mon, 30 Aug 2004 16:51:58 -0700, B. Garcia <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

>> Why a parrot? Why not a Cockatiel? Or a cockatoo, ALL of those can be
>> made to speak, why does it have to be an african grey even if we go
>> with parrots, hmmmmm?
> Hmmm, indeed. *thinks for a second* Why not a Norwegian Blue Parrot (which
> looks remarkably like a Blue Macaw)? It seems the perfect bird for the
> various types of discussion we have from time to time.

{sigh} If only it were a _Swedish_ Blue Parrot it would be perfect   ;)

On Tuesday, August 31, 2004, at 03:33 , I. K. Peylough wrote:
> The *obvious* choice is a myna bird. Haven't y'all read _Babel 17_?

Yes, mynas are a good choice. But I haven't read _Babel 17_. Please

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"A mind which thinks at its own expense will always
interfere with language."         J.G. Hamann, 1760