Home Languages

The first section of the book introduces the astonishing fact that over 900 languages have been invented over the past 900 years. The five remaining sections tell the tale of five general eras in language invention. Excerpts from a few of the chapters are linked in the chapter list below. In addition, very brief excerpts about many of the individual languages I discuss can be found in the list of languages.

Nine Hundred Languages, Nine Hundred Years

  1. Scaring the Mundanes
  2. A History of Failure

John Wilkins and the Language of Truth

  1. The Six-Hundred-Page Rewrite
  2. A Calculus of Thought
  3. A Hierarchy of the Universe
  4. The Word for "Shit"
  5. Knowing What You Mean to Say

Ludwik Zamenhof and the Language of Peace

  1. A Linguistic Handshake
  2. Un Nuov Glot
  3. Trouble in Volap√ľkland
  4. A Nudist, a Gay Ornithologist, a Railroad Enthusiast and a Punk Cannabis Smoker Walk into a Bar...
  5. Crank Pride

Charles Bliss and the Language of Symbols

  1. Word Magic
  2. Hit by a Personality Tornado
  3. Those Queer and Mysterious Chinese Characters
  4. The Spacemen Speak
  5. The Catastrophic Results of Her Ignorance

James Cooke Brown and the Language of Logic

  1. The Whorfian Hypothesis
  2. A Formula for Success
  3. Suitable Apologies
  4. Meaning Quicksand
  5. To Menstruate Joyfully

The Klingons, the Conlangers, and the Art of Language

  1. Flaws or Features?
  2. The Go-To Linguist
  3. What Are They Doing?
  4. The Secret Vice
Designed by Alex: a mad dreamer and big fan