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James Chandler wrote:
 
> I just want to make a couple of comments on the current battle between
> Bob Petry on the one hand and certain Ia supporters on the other.
>
> Firstly, I don't know if people are aware that Bob has actually reproduced
> from Cos articles which criticize almost every well known IAL.  There have
> been just as many critical of Esp, Ido and Novial as have been directed
> against Ia.  I have personally not responded to the criticisms of Ido and
> Novial, the languages I would be most likely to defend,
 
Yes, frankly speaking, at times Bob gives the impression that Occidental is the
perfect langauge to bash other IAL's in. That's a pretty narrow market to
appeal to and probably explains the phenomenon of people on this list claiming
to not be able to understand Occi. I'm not sure if he gets that part of it
though.
 
> in any case
> I have not reacted in the frankly hysterical manner in which some others
> have, altho perhaps they feel Occ to be moving into the same territory
> rather than simply being a rival language.
 
Yes, it appears that a revived Occidental (or whetever you want to call it) is
perceived as a threat to some people. In many ways I can see why, I'm still not
won over by many aspects of Occidental, Bob's approach to it is certainly
lively (lively, now _that's_ a word you don't often hear applied to IAL's)
 
>  It must be pointed out tho,
> that it is a historical fact that the chief reason why EdW published Occ
> in 1922 was because of his personal dissatisfaction with Ido, not with Esp,
> which he had long since ruled out, not with Novial which had not yet been
> invented, and obviously not with Ia.
>
> I want to say that I think it is a _positive_ thing that we are hearing
> the opinions of a group of interlinguists whose views have not been
> available to us before.  That is one reason I have not kicked up a fuss
> about the criticisms of the languages I favour: because I think we benefit
> by hearing these people's views on _all_ competing (with Occ) languages,
> whatever I personally think of them.  It seems to me that the Ia-ists were
> rather hoping that these documents would stay in obscurity forever and that
> they would be spared the trouble of having to defend their language against
> criticisms that were once made of it by those with a real interest.  What
> I would say is, that if these criticisms really worry you, don't be stung
> by them, try to counter them.  If you can't, there must be some validity to
> the criticism.  If I had more time, I would try to counter the criticisms
> of Ido and Novial posted by Bob; but doing so is not at the top of my list
> of priorities because, frankly, I don't think the arguments are very strong
> or particularly difficult for anyone to refute for themselves.  If you
> feel otherwise about the criticisms of your language, then publicly
> refuting them (if possible) will obviously be higher up your list.
>
> Basically, I belong to the Bruce Gilson school of thought on these matters:
> that we should get together as much material as possible from anywhere and
> everywhere, and make it publicly accessible.  Only when we have all the
> information in can we begin to weed out the disinformation, and finally
> come to a decision on the best form of planned language to propose to the
> world.
 
You're making progress James, but you're still on the wrong track. The question
is not "How can we create the ideal IAL?" it's "How can we get people to use an
IAL, _any_ IAL?"
 
I remain absolutely convinced that the only way to raise the stock of any IAL
is to raise the stock of all of them. If you look at other once discredited
languages which have attained some measure of respect (Amerindian, African,
Creoles, Sign Languages) you'll find it that they could only be rehabilitated
collectively. Usually there was a breakthrough language, such as ASL for Sign
Langauges, but linguists didn't rehabilitate ASL by claiming tht British Sign
Language was crap. Think about it and discuss the issue among yourselves. I'll
be back tomorrow.
 
Amikel,
MikeFarris