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Just got back from six days in Oregon, and found that I have four screens
of auxlang messages waiting to be read, filed, and (maybe, in a few cases)
answered. For the nonce, though, I thought I'd mention the following...
 
Some time back somebody -- Bruce Gilson or Kjell, I don't remember which --
wondered, in the course of a discussion of early experiences, how I could
possibly have encountered Esperanto before encountering Interlingua.
Visiting my old stomping grounds (Portland & Neighborhood) gave me the
answer. While I was there, I visited three book repositories where I looked
for planned-language books. This is what I found.
 
(1) Reed College Library (where my youngest daughter, currently a student
there, works). One copy of Richardson's "Esperanto: Learning and Using the
International Language" (first published, 1988). Nothing else.
 
(2) Portland Public Library (which I used to visit twice a week). In the
40? section, there are three Interlingua books -- the IED and two copies of
the grammar. All original Storm Press editions, as far as I could tell
(early 50s). Also, about eight shelf inches of Esperanto books, including
the Wells Dictionary, a 1966 copy of "Teach Yourself", two copies
(different editions) of "Esperanto: The World Interlanguage", an extremely
ancient copy of "La Sankta Biblio", one or two other titles.
 
Luckily, I also looked back at the 49? section, two shelves away, and found
another half shelf of Esperanto books. These included three copies of the
current edition of "Teach Yourself" (not in the best of conditions), two
copies of Peter Benson's recent "Comprehensive English-Esperanto
Dictionary", and a group of others.
 
I don't remember noticing the IED and companions on the shelves when I used
to visit the library back in the fifties, though they were probably there.
In fact, I probably looked at them. I suspect that, as a neophyte at the
time, I would have been scared off by them if I had noticed them.
"Esperanto: The World Interlanguage" was much more approachable and inviting.
 
(3) Powell's Books. This block-spanning bookstore (with a couple of
extensions elsewhere) is, according to my daughter, the world's biggest
bookstore. I don't know about that, but it's at least as large as Foyle's,
which I used to visit in London. Lots of language books. The Big Five or
Dozen or however many each have their own section, and the rest are
relegated to "Multilingual". First entry in "Multilingual" is approx. 2/3
shelf of Esperanto books, including, as well as a couple already named,
Conroy's recent "Beginner's Esperanto" from Hippocrene and the Esperanto
versions of "The Pied Piper of Hamlin" and "The Three Bears" from that
children's multilingual picture-book company whose name I can't remember in
Ohio.
 
Except for the three Interlingua volumes already mentioned, I saw no books
on any other planned language in any of these places. So it's hardly
surprising that just about _anybody_, at least in the Portland area,
looking into the topic would first encounter Esperanto -- and hardly
surprising, given the nature of the Interlingua books I did see, that even
if he encountered Interlingua first, he would turn to Esperanto.
 
(One other interesting thing happened to me while I was there, and I think
it's relevant, because it's far from an unusual experience. For some time I
had been looking for Rosemary Edghill's mysteries, but only ever found the
first one. At Powell's, I found a recently published omnibus edition of all
three, and glommed onto it. Lying in my hotel room that night and reading
the last of the three, I ran across a group of Klingons in the story -- the
fan type, not the interstellar type. One of them actually quoted a sentence
in Klingon. To make sure that the average reader understood just what
Klingon was, Edghill described it as, I think, "interstellar Esperanto".
I'm not actually sure of the adjective, since the book is still in the
trunk of my care; but the noun is written just as she wrote it. Only very
rarely -- if ever -- does one encounter a name such as "Interlingua", "Ido"
or "Occidental" used in the same way.)
 
 
-- Don HARLOW
http://www.webcom.com/~donh/
(English version: http://www.webcom.com/~donh/dona.html)