I developed my language, Angosey, to express concepts that (I thought) English could not convey. The act of scrapping all the world’s languages and coming up with my own included a few parts youthful hubris, a hefty dash of ignorance, and a bucketful of willingness to spend a lot of time on something that no one else was likely to care about. However, it did help me develop a lot of tools that carried me through the tumultuous years between 16 and 22.
One issue that bothered me from middle school onward was this: how do I characterize the motives and desires of the ‘other’? Another, deeper issue concerned me even more: how could one part of me want something, and the other part not want something? In other words, how was it possible for an “individual” to want two things at once? Finally, a question that emerged more and more as I got older: what does the act of communicating in Angosey really entail, given that I am more or less talking to myself? What truth value comes from this ‘perfect diary’ I have created?
Angosey first went to work categorizing varieties of the ‘other.’ Since I was an adolescent boy continually in and out of crushes, romantically-tinged friendships, and relationships, this ‘other’ typically involved girls. I discovered three categories: Algayaltha (Aphrodite-like), Emralday (a character in opposition with herself), and Lazouley (Athena-like). The three are arranged in increasing emotional distance – Algayaltha is the most human, Lazouley was the most remote and difficult to understand. While this was an interesting way of looking at things, it was nothing but a projection of my recent experiences in the girl realm as opposed to a clear basis for psychology.
When writing in Angosey, I discovered a solution for another, more important problem: how to describe situations where I wanted two mutually exclusive things. For example: wanting to be social while simultaneously feeling anxious and shy. Another example: being a writer (creative) and a scientist (analytic).
My result was to write as three different aspects: Ashrayaga (the builder of fences), Dantayaga (the dreamer), and Renayaga (the worldly).
Ashrayaga is the character under whose auspices I am writing now. He is analytic and remote. His desire is to examine and categorize. He is hostile towards sentimentality and emotion.
Dantayaga is the first character I came up with. He is the force that drives Angosey, but probably not the one who wrote down the grammar and vocabulary. He loves beauty, art, and harmony. He tends to get very little done, but he provides the inspiration for my creativity and probably is what makes me tolerable to other people.
Renayaga is the last character I came up with. If Ashrayaga is Apollo, Renayaga is Dionysus. He doesn’t say much, but he’ll definitely drink a few too many with you.
This trinitarian concept of the soul help me understand how I could feel mutually exclusive things, and gave me a more balanced perspective of myself as I made my way through adolescence and young adulthood. While I had little use of these three after graduating from college, I actually refer to them quite a bit more often now than I have over the last few years. Usually this is a reminder to turn Ashrayaga off when I leave the geophysics laboratory – probably one of the stranger “don’t bring work home with you” concepts that you’ll hear!
After taking Philosophy of Language in college, I started wondering what sort of meaning I was generating every time I wrote in Angosey. If I am the only person in the planet who can read this, am I really communicating? This was particularly problematic because I never intended for others to read some of my writing – hence the utility of a secret language in the first place.
Then I considered diary writers. I assume most of them do not write in their diary so that other people can eventually read them. Instead, the diary is a form of communication across time – reaching out to a future version of yourself. Angosey, then, is my message in a bottle, floating in the twin oceans of self and time.