Print

Print


On Fri, 26 Sep 2008, James Chandler wrote:

> Matthew scrit:
>
>> Do Idists also have to mark unofficial words in speech (thoughts of
>> Victor Borge)? :-)
>
> That's a good question of course, and the answer is No, there is no
> analog in speech of the asterisk.  How can this possibly work in
> practise, you ask?  Well, if you are speaking to someone and you use
> an unofficial word, the risk is they won't understand you.  That's
> the way it works in any language.  As to the "full explanations"
> postulated by the author of that post, if your interlocutor
> understands your neologism, there will be no need for explanation. 
> If they give you a funny look, you will have to start explaining
> yourself, and fast.  Again, the way it works in any language.  This
> all just underlines the futility of trying to formalize these things.

Indeed.  There are a lot of learned words in English which occur in
unabridged dictionaries which your stereotypical man or woman in the
street may or may not know.  If I use one of them and my listener does
not understand, then I have to restate myself in terms which s/he can
understand.  I have never comprehended this Idist obsession on using
words which only an academy has blessed.  Yes, I myself have had
problems with some usages in IALA Interlingua ("le internet" and "le
web" still grate on me, when there are the perfectly good expressions
"le interrete" and "le tela"), but such is the nature of language.  I
like Ido, even if I am not competent to write (let alone speak) it, if
Idists would just get over their hangups.

-- 
Paul Bartlett