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In the Land of Invented Languages: Esperanto Rock Stars, Klingon Poets, Loglan Lovers, and the Mad Dreamers Who Tried to Build a Perfect Languageby Arika Okrent
Synopses & Reviews
Hats off to Okrent, who expertly exposes the history, culture, and preoccupations of this insular tribe who live among us. She rescues language inventors, or conlangers, from the oddball bin--utopianists all, they're the first biotechnologists, trying to leapfrog evolution and improve human life. They'll thank her but everyone else will, too, for finally making sense of the conlangers' discontents. --Michael Erard, author of Um...: Slips, Stumbles, and Verbal Blunders, and What They Mean
A lively, informative, insightful examination of artificial languages--who invents them, why, and why most of them fail. I loved this book.--Will Shortz, Crossword Editor, New York Times
Linguist Okrent explores some of the themes and shortcomings of 900 years worth of artificial languages. ...Okrent gamely translates these languages with unspeakably hilarious results, and riffs on the colorful eccentricities of
Here is the captivating story of humankind's enduring quest to build a better language--and overcome the curse of Babel. Just about everyone has heard of Esperanto, which was nothing less thanone man's attempt to bring about world peace by means of linguistic solidarity. And every Star Trek fan knows about Klingon. But few people have heard of Babm, Blissymbolics, Loglan (not to be confused withLojban), and the nearly nine hundred other invented languages that represent the hard work, high hopes, and full-blown delusions of so many misguided souls over the centuries. With intelligence and humor, Arika Okrent haswritten a truly original and enlightening book for all word freaks, grammar geeks, and plain old language lovers.
Just about everyone has heard of Esperanto, which was nothing less than one man's attempt to bring about world peace by means of linguistic solidarity. And every Star Trek fan knows about Klingon, which was nothing more than a television show's attempt to create a tough-sounding language befitting a warrior race with ridged foreheads. But few people have heard of Babm, Blissymbolics, and the nearly nine hundred other invented languages that represent the hard work, high hopes, and full-blown delusions of so many misguided souls over the centuries.
In In The Land of Invented Languages,
About the Author
ARIKA OKRENT received a joint Ph.D. in the Department of Linguistics and the Department of Psychology's Cognition and Cognitive Neuroscience Program at the University of Chicago. She has also earned her first-level certification in Klingon. She lives in Philadelphia.
Table of Contents
Nine hundred languages, nine hundred years — John Wilkins and the language of truth — Ludwik Zambof and the language of peace — Charles Bliss and the language of symbols — James Cooke Brown and the language of logic — The Klingons, the Conlangers, and the art of language.
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