Yes, I'm for real, I plan to invent a language and get the world speaking it. I don't care if you think I'm crazy or it's hopeless. So is anything else I might try to do to fix the world. (I just feel the need to say this cause so many people in real life have jeered at me for this even though there are verifiable examples of somewhat successful conlangs.)

Quick links:

The phenome and alphabet

Dictionary search

Verb objects

Multiple predicates


The Tense System


Linking clauses


Quantifier-type compounds

Default identifiers

Design insight: the tradeoffs of parts of speech

The phonetic mapping: each sound's ideographic profile as I perceive them

ASCII transliteration scheme

Open question (please comment): variable dereferencing?

Other open questions (7)

Here are the reasons why the world needs this so badly, and why Esperanto won't do.

  1. Philosophical accuracy. This is by far the most important. The language a society speaks has an enormous impact on its culture, and quite a lot of harmful ideas in our society can be traced to English. (I know the same problems exist in many other languages. I've studied other languages. I'm just using English for the examples because the article is in English.)

    • "Good" is the most diabolically destructive word anyone ever invented. "Good" refers to many completely different concepts, such as morality, pleasure, skill, and others. (The related words "should" and "must" can also refer to probability.) The conflation of morality and pleasure doesn't just lend itself to utilitarianism and such but it allows people to write things like this tvtropes turn-the-other-cheek propaganda piece and people can get behind the garbage. Making such wrong and destructive ideas sound appealing would be vastly harder if morality and pleasure weren't named the same thing.

    • Synonyms facilitate circular reasoning. In a language where there are many ways to communicate the same meaning, it's easy to see a difference where there isn't one, and people can make statements of the form "X is right because X is right" and mask what they're doing by calling X two different things. Even honest people who were raised with bad ideas can do this unintentionally.

    • No distinction between ability and permission. Asking for permission is usually done with "can" in English, which is a clear gateway to authoritarianism.

    • Commands. Related to the above, I'll admit this point is arguable on grounds of speed but there's a strong case to be made that a language should not have commands. Commands as a language construct allow you to pressure someone to do something without saying why: maybe you think it's their duty, maybe you think it's in their interests, maybe you just want them to, but commands allow you to not distinguish, which insinuates that the distinction isn't important.

    • "Redeem" being transitive. To redeem yourself means to do noble things that balance out your past sins. Someone else's actions can't make you a better person. Thus this verb is meaningless at best when used non-reflexively. Yet, of the Christian family of religions, most if not all have a core belief that Jesus's death redeemed the human race by paying back Adam's debt. This idea is so obviously absurd someone would have to work hard to convince me that they were serious in a sane world. And yet billions of people believe that you can be redeemed by someone else's actions. If the word for redeem wasn't transitive, you wouldn't be able to even express this idea. Even if you tried you'd have a hard time getting it across: "Jesus's suffering caused that we redeemed" would be taken as, "Jesus's suffering led to us redeeming ourselves". Having a language facilitate such incoherent ideas can only be harmful.

    • No distinction between causation and deduction. The word because communicates both the causal relationship of events and logical deductions we make. "Because X happened, Y happened" and "Because X is true, Y is true". And I have definitely seen people abuse this confusion to create bizarre sophistry like a time I argued with a materialist and he argued that all of my arguments were appeal to consequence fallacy because I was refuting his ideas by showing that they entailed absurd and untenable consequences.

    • Emotion vocabulary is useless. English has some 60 words that designate emotions or so, and most of them are poorly defined or conflate multiples. Therefore the English language breeds a culture of not understanding how people work. We need this vocabulary section to be devised by someone who really understands human emotions. And obviously that's not me yet, but it will be eventually, and the same can't be said of most people.

    Esperanto doesn't address most of these problems.

  2. Ease of learning. A language as massively complicated as English is ill-suited to becoming the universal language (I don't think I need to elaborate on why that would be great to have), and perhaps more important is the difficulty of children learning it. I think it's important to have a language that children can learn very quickly because a person's earliest years are when their development is easiest to affect, and so the sooner you can teach them to communicate meaningfully the better you can raise them.

    Of course, there's a case to be made that that's a bad thing if the parents are bad people, but the above points make Spem more conducive to goodness rather than just more efficient, so even bad people using a more philosophically accurate language is an improvement.

I know Spem won't be worth making unless it's close to perfect and that's part of why I'm going to publicize it even though it's not usable yet. I'll need advice and feedback to make this the best language it can be.

Oh, by the way, 'Spem' is a name I came up with a long time ago that meant "Supreme Protagonists' Efficient Medium". Renaming it is on the table.

General design philosophy

Obviously some of these goals will conflict in some cases. Prioritizing them will be hard and it won't be clear what the best decision is, but I tried to list them in order of descending importance.

Broad concrete choices

Adjectives before or after nouns?

Although I don't plan to grammatically distinguish the two I think we should still have a custom for it. If there's a custom then whether the custom is followed can be used to convey additional information, such as reversing the order being used to emphasize.

I've developed the de facto standard of adjectives-first, but I'm open to having my mind changed in the comments.

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