After a relatively quiet 20th century, the constructed language Ido is back on the conlang linguistic scene. The Institute for Conlangs (Auxiliary and Neo-
‘Well,’ began the Prof, having dashed in from a local bakery with a nicely presented tray of ham sandwiches and nibbles, ‘the whole thing with Ido is that it was a perfect reform of Esperanto. Or at least so we thought. When we began trying to say things with lots of different past or future tenses, we ran into a ton of problems. Ido only has one inflected tense for the past and the future, so if you want to utter an everyday sentencelette like, “Just a moment after you completed the first draft of your conlang, I was already thinking about being about to have finished the second draft of mine, but my business partner who had left earlier and who has been living next door since March, was not yet home,” you have to draw on time phrases and suchlike which is inefficient and complex. It seemed clear to us that a further reform of Ido is much needed, so that’s what we did. And being all about past tense we named it Idid. Of course the same principle applies to the future tenses and I’mworking on Iwill as Ispeak.’
Outside in the corridor, I was stopped first by the police for stealing ham sandwiches and nibbles (court appearance pending) and then by Dr Bernadetta Chairs-
As Iwasleaving, Ibumped into Otto Jespersen idly enjoying a Danish pastry next to ICANT’s campus lake, along with his idol, Rasmus Kristian Rask. I asked them in Ido about the significance of having either a palindromic first name or set of initials, but they replied respectively in Novial and Old Icelandic and Iwas none the wiser. Igot the last bus home.
1 Which existed in forms prior to the 1997 published form. Please fill out the reformed form available at
reformed_form.frm for more formal information, sent to you in a form of your choice.
2 By which I mean not that it was strange that they were barred but the bars themselves, being pink with punting hanging off at irregular intervals, were strange.
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