I suppose I should join the legions who "had to register" in order to make a point, though mine is to take the part of the prosecution:
Isaac Asimov & Robert Silverberg wrote:...In other words, we could have told you that one of our characters paused to strap on his quonglishes before setting out on a walk of seven vorks along the main gleebish of his native znoob, and everything might have seen ever so much more thoroughly alien. But it would also have been ever so much more difficult to make sense out of what we were saying, and that did not seem useful. The essence of this story does not lie in the quantity of bizarre terms we might have invented; it lies, rather, in the reaction of a group of people somewhat like ourselves, living on a world somewhat like ours in all but one highly important detail, as they react to a challenging situation that is completely different from anything the people of Earth have ever had to deal with.
-From the foreword to the consolidated edition of Nightfall
Given that the original short story was published in 1941, it is probably safe to say that the problem of artificial vocabulary expansion has been around as long as genres that give the author remotest excuse to do so. Ultimately to me the question comes down to how artificial the words are: I do not consider many of the above-cited examples problematic as they come from the place all neologisms do, which is largely novel adaptations of or uses for extant words; proper nouns make up much of the balance. The words that always jump out of the page and stab me in the eye are ones that are unnecessary. Watership Down comes to mind; someone else mentioned it earlier as an exception but I hold that it is only an exception in that the book is well enough written to overcome that handicap. The book would certainly have been better unburdened by much of the rabbitese, especially as it was applied to already defined concepts such as the few animals that merited their own words (which was strikingly inconsistent; some animals were only named in English, some were sometimes named in English, and at least one was never named in English).
Of course, I vastly prefer words that have been just made up over the CamelCased conjunctions found in some books of late, as if to highlight the specialness of the new term over the two perfectly adequate words it replaces; that or as argument by the author that they are not being paid by the word.
jqavins wrote:I would like to retract my earlier statement regarding rules of thumb after re-reading the strip. Oops.
But this part stays:
Just once (and I mean it: once and only once) I'd like to see a book that goes to the extreme. Start off in an extant earthly language, e.g. English, introducing a few made up words. Introduce more and more words, and sentences that use more and more of them together, until the reader has learned a whole made up language, and finish the book completely in said language, with not a word of the original language in the last chapter or two. It would require an author who is both hell of a skilled writer and one mighty good linguist to not only make up a rich enough language but also teach it to the reader while spinning a yarn worth telling. But it would be truly awesome if someone could pull it off.
It is only a poem, but...
"`Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe:
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrabe."
...etc. In college I had an assignment in the use of stream editors that used Jabberwocky
as the seed and asked for various properties about it or mutations of it as the questions. By the end I was rather familiar with the poem.