Paul O Bartlett wrote:
>     I will state a couple of points about my own position.
> 1)  When you get down to cases, I am really not particularly fond
>     of Esperanto.

    Well, there are times when I feel the same. The circumflexed
letters are a slight inconvenience in wordprocessors, and a major
problem in Email programs - though this may be more a criticism
of Email programs than the Esperanto alphabet. The way sentences
suddenly become full of diphthongs when nouns are plural. The
tense marking on verbs. The ig and igx suffixes which, even now,
I have to think about. The way some words begin as nouns, others
as adjectives etc, the start-POS determining the POS transforming

> 2)  I regret that Zamenhof did not come out with something more like
>     Ido in the first place;

   Let me guess...your native language is: ENGLISH!!!

>     I do think that Esperanto could have been
>     more consistent and more efficient to begin with;

   Efficient - do you mean that fewer stems with more concatenation
and affixing to create new words would have been better? Do you
mean that EO is verbose and in need of greater concision? I'm not
sure what you mean here.
   Consistent - EO seems pretty consistent to me. The MAL prefix
may be annoying but it is consistently used. Are you thinking of the
presence of words like REDAKTORO? Or do you mean that the
derivation of roots is idiosyncratic as regards choice of source
language and system of transliteration?

>    and I think the
>     supersigned letters were a colossal blunder which even many
>     contemporary Esperantists do not use on the Internet, even though
>     the technology exists, thereby giving the lie to the claim of
>     how valuable these letters are.

    Highly arguable, both ways. We've already seen several (rather
tedious) name-calling flame wars on this, and I think everyone is
very aware of everyone else's opinions. In other words, I don't
want to get involved in another argument.

> 3)  Nevertheless, I think that some of the constantly recurring
>     criticisms of Esperanto are of less moment than the critics
>    think.

   Indeed. The feminising suffix is only used with less than a dozen
words (patro, filo, frato, avo, nepo, nevo, kuzo, viro, knabo are all
I can think of). The -N ending is fiddly to native english speakers
like me, but I still wouldn't want to do without it.

> 4)  Chewing over the old soup of history and personalities is pointless
>     and distracting [snip]

   Nothing but aggreement here. I suspect that if any of us were to
actually meet Zamenhof, we would find him a cloying idealist.
   Suggestion: All biographies end with the sentence 'Most of the
above is probably false, and none of it relavent.'

[remaining points snipped, with general agreeement]

   Personally, I will follow Tolkien's advice to 'back Esperanto
loyally'. This is not because it is 'perfect', as this particular
adjective seems to be meaningless, even within a context.
   An international language (preferably for the world) is,
IMO, an absolute necessity. However, it may not actually
be a possibility. If it IS a possibility, then Esperanto is now
the ONLY potential realisation of that possibility.

Kapitano Eglefino