(There are more open questions in the dictionary. Ones that are specifically about an existing word go in the word's Notes field; to search for them, put "Open question" in the Notes box.)
The adjective/noun distinction¶
There is a meaningful difference between wanting something for its own sake and wanting it as a means. I'm currently leaning toward making
More generally, I need to deal with concepts of directness. In English, we often say things like "directly cause" drawing a relevant distinction between that and indirect causation. The distictions are very important. I should probably have a different verb for that. I already spent
There might also be a need for "directly say" or perhaps "indirectly say" while
I've discussed this one in the comments on quantifiers. I have no idea what a good approach is.
Distinguishing "technically can" from "practically can"¶
These merit separate words. Currently, "can" is
Update: I've become very unsure that I should do this.
How do we distinguish "see someone doing X" from "see (evidence) that (at least) someone does X"?¶
Currently, I would translate both as
It seems like we need a version of the current word
On the other hand, maybe it's the former that should be rightfully translated as that, and I should change the way I express the latter.
Male and female¶
At some point, Spem needs one syllable words for male and female. Unfortunately I think I'm too biased to choose the sounds that go into these. I want to get at least a few other opinions from other people who do not have irrational beliefs about the nature of gender; at least one from a woman, and preferably some from people whose native language is not English. (I realize how difficult that'll be for me to find, but that's part of why I want to post the question before it's close to the most urgent thing on the list.)
My intuitions are to use
Emphasizing different sides of degree modifiers¶
There are pairs like "almost" versus "not quite"; or "slightly" versus "barely". Note that in either case they
designate the same degree but one emphasizes the positive side and the other emphasizes the negative side.
Currently Spem doesn't do separate words for this. Arguably,
This is very similar to the question of whether "but" should exist - it means the same thing as "and" (that both statements are true), but implies a notion that the two are in contrast. I hate the word on principle because that "contrast" is such a vague idea and there are so many ways to use it to create harmful ambiguities. But maybe it's too useful to not have. I don't know. I haven't thought much about "flow control" words like that, but I'm attracted to the idea of having different sentence-linking conjunctions to specify what the relationship between the sentences is supposed to be (for example, one that means the preceding is a sort of preface to the following). I just don't like this one. But maybe any kind of word like that would have this problem, and I'd see it with the others if I used them for a while.