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Bonid,
 
I must agree with Don.  For me numbers do count.  It is primarily for this
reason that I am attracted to Esperanto.
 
Alvid,
Arturo
 
 
On Fri, 4 Sep 1998, Donald J. Harlow wrote:
 
> The question of numbers is important. An IAL cannot survive if it cannot
> _re-recruit_ its own number of speakers about once every generation...
> ..... Esperanto has demonstrated, over some three to four
> generations, that not only can it do so but that it can, in fact, grow from
> generation to generation. No other IAL has demonstrated this.........
>
> Numbers are also important for the generation of services -- without which
> you can't attract new users. Given the problems of the international
> marketplace, you need tens of thousands of speakers, at least, to provide
> you with a minimum subscription base for your magazines and newsletters or
> buyers for the few hundred or few thousand copies of the literary work
> you're going to publish. You need a base for your international
> conferences, your hosting networks, your hard core of activists who will
> work to make the language become better known in a hundred different
> venues. Etc. And available services play an important role in generating
> motivation, which in turn helps generate numbers, which... I once suggested
> to Bruce GILSON, in all seriousness, that the Novial team ought to be
> spending less time worrying about "gem" vs. "lapide" and more worrying
> about an infrastructure for the language; his reply, that they weren't at
> the point where they had to worry about that yet, was, to me, a tacit
> admission that they would never _reach_ that point.
>
> Numbers _do_ make a significant difference. As does the ability to generate
> those numbers.
>
>
> -- Don HARLOW
> http://www.webcom.com/~donh/
> (English version: http://www.webcom.com/~donh/dona.html)
>