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A Secret Vice

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"The wise will stay here and hope to rebuild our town..." — Master of Lake-town
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A Secret Vice is the title of a lecture held by J.R.R. Tolkien in 1930 at an Esperanto congress. It deals with constructed languages in general, and the relation of a mythology to its language. Tolkien contrasts auxiliary languages with artistic languages constructed for aesthetic pleasure.

   Tolkien begins in a subtle fasion, he discusses Esperanto and then quickly moves on to the heart of his lecture which is invented language.  He recalls an incident where he over heard a man working on his own language while Tolkien was in the army.  This helped confirm Tolkien's idea that the creation of languages may not be a "New Art" or "New Game," but a secret one.  He notes that people who make languages are not apt to share them with others and thus the language scene is almost nil since there is no collaboration and critiaque of the invented languages. 
    Tolkien then continues to cover his own liguistic path from early Animalic and Nevbosh, upto his Quenya and Sindarin.


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