Citaĵo de la Tago..kaj aliaj pensoj pri libroj.
Mi penas reveni al Esperanto, kaj mi estas revenanta membro de Esperanto-USA (Mi ankoraŭ ŝatas la nomo ELNA, sed...)
Mi pensas, ke mi eble eksribas blogaj afiŝoj, kelkfoje. Mia Esperanto estas NE PERFEKTA. Mi bezonas la praktikon! Iom afiŝoj estos en la angla, kaj iom estos en Esperanto, kiel mi iĝas pli komforta.
"Nothing says success like bitter, angry jealousy in the hearts of your competitors."
-Arika Okrent writing of Esperanto's assumed position within the spectrum of constructed languages.
In the Land of Invented Languages
I picked this book up on a lark Sunday while I was at the BPL. I honestly expected it to be a trashing of the entire constructed languages concept, and she does do a fair bit of that. And, to be fair, historically, a good bit of it is justified.
She rescues her sometimes brash opinion with some wry humor such as that which I noted above. She starts the book off with Wilkins's Philosophical Language. Okrent says:
The bulk of John Wilkens's six-hundred-page description of his language is taken up with a hierarchical categorization of everything in the universe. Everything? When I first sat down to confront An Essay Towards a Real Character and a Philosophical Language, I did what any sensible, mature language scholar would do.
I tried to look up the word for "s**t."
But what really freaked me out was her opening on the section on Esperanto.
"Esperantoland" sounds a lot sillier in English than it does in Esperanto. There is no land of Esperanto, of course, though not for lack of trying on the part of the Esperantists. [...] Instead the proponents of Esperanto have made due with a virtual homeland. Esperantoland is located wherever people are speaking Esperanto. And contrary to what I had assumed, they really are speaking Esperanto.
The earthly setting of my first Esperanto experience was the MIT campus, the 2003 venue for the annual congress of the Esperanto League of North America. As I drove from New Jersey through the hellish Fourth of July traffic towards Cambridge, the clearest mental picture of an Esperanto congress I could muster was five gray-haired radicals on folding chairs bantering about the Spanish civil war and their stamp collections. I imagined they would be speaking Esperanto, but not for everything. Surely, as soon as something worth saying came up, they would lapse back into English.
More than 80 people turned up at the conference, and I can say that almost all of them spoke only Esperanto the entire weekend.
I was there! That Landa Kongreso was the one I attended now so many years ago! I spent the rest of the chapter almost, but not quite, wondering if Okrent would would end up writing something like, "One of the things I would have never expected was walking to breakfast discussing the Koran with this short guy hailing from Ithaca, another known collective of the odd and unusual." But, alas, I never read that. :-(
Bloody shame, really!