Trope-a-Day: Mathematician’s Answer

Mathematician’s Answer: The nature of the Eldraeic language, being designed as it was by mathematicians as well as logicians, philosophers, and linguists, positively encourages these. (So does the cultural attitude in favor of precision and in disfavor of the sloppy speaker and the plain intellectually inadequate.)

In fact, if asked a literally-translated “Is it A or B?” question, the only possible grammatical answers are “Yes” or “No”. If you really want to ask a question of that form – say, “Would you like tea or coffee?”, the way you say it in Eldraeic is “You would like tea how-related-to coffee?”, to which the answer is “neither…nor” (if you want nothing), “but not” (for tea), “not…but” (for coffee) or “and” (for both), any of which options can be expressed in a single conjunction.

(For a real-world example of this unusual grammatical form, this is also how Lojban does it.)

Observers of the modern Conclave on Linguistics and Ontology are unsure whether they’re saddened or delighted by how much this and other quirks of the language annoy and frustrate less precision-devoted non-native speakers, but they definitely aren’t planning on changing them any time soon…

One thought on “Trope-a-Day: Mathematician’s Answer

  1. Pingback: Trope-a-Day: Eloquent In My Native Tongue « The Eldraeverse

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