I wrote my first blog post nearly twelve years ago. Much has happened since then, of course, and my blog has reflected it all. Recently, the reflection is a sporadic shimmer – that is to say, every once in a very long while I’ll post something and then move on. While there was a time when I was religiously blogging two or three times a week, recently the frequency of these posts has dropped to two or three times a year, until 2019. This year, there has been nothing.

So I have had to decide whether my road was going to lead me away from my blog completely or stop and take a look at what it is and what it might usefully become. I have chosen the latter. So, welcome to my new blog. I am calling it A Writer’s Road because I now propose to post about all the many ideas, notions, problems, conundra (or conundrums, but being a former Classicist, I opted for the Latin, as obnoxious as that may be). Although my writing road has taken many twists and turns, the one constant is my passion for language – writing it, reading it, teaching it, speaking it, performing it, learning it, listening to it, thinking about it. Now, it’s time to share some of this with you. And let’s begin with a little known, long forgotten attempt to save the world through language, namely Esperanto.

When I was a teenager I met one of the leaders in this movement to create a new language and thereby create a more unified, peaceful world. I had two lessons with him – I wished it could have been more, but it was enough to get a basic understanding of how the language worked and the theories behind it. Then the years passed and so did my knowledge of Esperanto, until today, when the following short piece appeared in the NY Times. Enjoy.

Long before appearing in an errant presidential tweet about Defense
Secretary Mark Esper, Esperanto was the name given to a language
invented by a doctor in the late 1800s. Its creator, L.L. Zamenhof, was
from what is now Poland. He hoped that Esperanto would be adopted
universally as a way to bridge international differences. If everyone
spoke the same language, he reasoned, “education, ideals, convictions,
aims, would be the same too, and all nations would be united in a
common brotherhood.”
L.L. Zamenhof, the creator of Esperanto.  Ullstein Bild, via Getty Images
Dr. Zamenhof was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize in 1910, and
Esperanto was later proposed as the official language of the League of
Nations, the precursor to the United Nations.
Esperanto has a Latin-based alphabet of 28 letters and relatively simple
grammar rules.
While no country recognizes it as an official language, Esperanto has
recently experienced a surge of interest online, including on Duolingo,
the language-learning app, and as an option on Google Translate.
As an Esperantist would say, “Bonan matenon”.