Saturday, April 16, 2011

The Financial Times namechecks H.P. Lovecraft and talks about the fictional language Aklo

In a round-up of fictional languages, The Financial Times (of all places) brings up Aklo and mentions H.P. Lovecraft. Not really sure why I feel this is so odd, but I do, and thus I'm compelled to share it with you. Here's their write -up:
"In the sinister horror stories of Arthur Machen and HP Lovecraft, Aklo is the language set down by the Serpent races 1.5m years ago, possibly dictated to them by the Old Gods. Its main use is in incantations designed to summon Cthulhu, Yog-Sothoth and other evil cosmic entities from the nether regions, but lines such as “Ph’nglui mglw’nafh Cthulhu R’lyeh wgah’nagl fhtagn” have the secondary effect of making your computer’s spell check explode."
I found the spell check line kind of amusing, but your mileage may vary. The other languages they mention are Klingon, Newspeak, Nadsat and Elvish. Hey, what about Cityspeak from Blade Runner?

(from The List: Five fictional languages)
 

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  1. That paragraph is completely and utterly wrong. Nowhere in HPL's corpus is the famous "Ph'nglui" line identified as being an example of the Aklo tongue. In fact, the Aklo tongue was invented by Arthur Machen and appears *only* in Lovecraft's stories "The Dunwich Horror" and "The Haunter of The Dark." There is no connection whatsoever between the "language of R'lyeh" and Aklo.

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