Don Boozer has been interested in invented languages ever since discovering Dr. Seuss’s On Beyond Zebra in his elementary school library in the 1970s. Boozer’s previous articles include “I Want to Speak Elvish! Teens and the World of Imaginary Languages” (VOYA: Voice of Youth Advocates. August 2007), “Speaking in Tongues: Literary Languages” (Library Journal, Reader’s Shelf column. September 15, 2006), and “Conlanging: An Introduction to the Art of Language Creation” (Fiat Lingua. June 1, 2013). A librarian by trade, Boozer created the exhibit Esperanto, Elvish, and Beyond: The World of Constructed Languages which appeared at the Cleveland Public Library in 2008 and the 3rd Language Creation Conference in 2009.
When the word conlang was enshrined within the venerable Oxford English Dictionary in June 2014, many conlangers rightly rejoiced. It was a major milestone in the public awareness of the secret vice of language construction. The decision of Penguin—a major, mainstream publishing house—to release David J. Peterson’s The Art of Language Invention (which, at its heart, is a conlanging how-to guide) establishes another high-water mark in the long process of making the public-at-large aware of the art and craft of language invention. Included with the feature review is a shorter “bonus” review of E. M. Epps recent book, The Interpreter’s Tale.
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