Je 03.41 ptm 2006.11.23, Paul BARTLETT skribis

>On Thu, 23 Nov 2006, Rex May wrote:
>>Like Steve Rice said awhile back, one of Eo's biggest attractions is
>>that you can PLAY with it this way. Which you mostly can't with Ido,
>>LFN, etc.  [...]
>Quite frankly, I find this idea of "playing" with a constructed
>international auxiliary language to be rather disturbing.  An IAL is
>supposed to be an AUXILIARY language for speakers of otherwise
>dissimilar languages, not a plaything.  If some conIAL has fixed
>constructs, I can learn and use them, even if they differ from those of
>my native tongue.  However, if users start taking an IAL as a thing in
>itself, an end in itself, and begin "playing" with it, then the sands
>are always shifting beneath my feet, and it impedes communication rather
>than aiding it.  Sometimes I wonder if Esperantists have lost sight of
>the goal and taken Esperanto to be a thing in itself rather than as an
>assistance to international and intercommunal communication.  Would
>Zamenhof recognize Esperantujo today?  I want stability as an aid to
>communication, not a plaything.

Paul --

An IAL, like any other language, in the hand has to be all things to 
all people, or it won't fly. In this venue you are likely to find 
people who want to play with language; at a World Esperanto Congress, 
for instance, people's communication priorities are going to be 
different. I, too, like to make puns in Esperanto, as in English. I 
realize (as, I think, everybody else does) that Esperanto does not 
exist so that people can make puns in it; but, also, it doesn't exist 
so that they can't.

In any case, "playing" with the language can often produce a better 
way of saying something than the one you're used to. I learned that 
"artificial" in Esperanto was "artefarita", an etymologically correct 
way of expressing this concept; but reading Piron's list of unusual 
MAL-constructions that he had recorded from conversations over the 
years (in "La bona lingvo", I think), I was particularly struck by 
someone who coined the word "malnatura" for the same concept, IMHO 
and in our modern world a perhaps better way of expressing the same 
concept, at least in some contexts.

Would Zamenhof recognize Esperantujo today? I'm pretty sure he would 
recognize _part_ of it. Whether the major part or only a minor part, 
I'm not sure.

See e.g. the section on "Verbal Play" in Jordan's "Being Colloquial 
in Esperanto" (p. 118), in a footnote to which Jordan mentions his 
1988 article "Esperanto: the international language of humor; or, 
What's funny about Esperanto?" in "Humor: International Journal of 
Humor Research" 1(2): 143-157 (I haven't read it).

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