Illustration of Sharpεn

2018 Sharpεn

The book of science

Tom Sharp

Tom Sharp linguistics Illustration of Sharpεn


English iz a funny langwich. Ain’t it true. In Sharpεn, se εsud mez: Ynglish εs a langakt apɘrais; εs nop le tru. But woodn’t any nachurel langwich bee, after funny peepel mess with it for centuryz? But εsud nop εny langakt nachis, aftɘr mεs εsεn wid le for andozyrez humz apɘrais? Its defects give it depth and charm. Giv dypis e charm tu le dyfεt leo. Its low information density gives it resilience to noise. Giv fortyk-noyz tu le dεns-informshɘn lo leo. Its irregularity makes you think you couldn’t do worse. Kaz dink εsakt de dat kyut εsud nop bad mor de regulisnoakt leo. Certainly its spellyng cood bee improovd, its word-order normalized. Sɘrtanky, amεnd εskul spεlakt leo, mek εshun rεgulis ord-mot leo, And straightening out those irregular verbs would be a service to humanity! ¡E rεktyn εsεnt dyz vεrbz rεgulisnop εsun a sεrvis tu humshɘn! With all theez changez, it’d be another langwich altoogether, and it’d be a useless language if people didn’t love it so.

The longest sentence written in Sharpεn so far

Kog a tym, wεn εskog εsud nachis dinz dat εsεd yzy nop, thru studact asidua, horaz ɘv provo e εror, gin e tydis, dεn sumyn εsud a sy ɘv rylyf Sharp Tam.

About Sharpεn





Names of the letters



Rules for forming words

Loan words

Numbers and things

Units of measure

Cardinal directions
















Translating verbs

The Sharpεnis language is not a milestone in the history of science, but like most the poems in The book of science, it has been inspired by milestones in the history of science. Constructing a language is similar in many respects to making a painting or writing a poem.

Mark Rosenfelder describes over three hundred constructed languages; Glottolog classifies 7,695 natural and constructed languages. Clearly, this is a crowded field, and I do not expect Sharpεn to stand out. There are many far more clever and more useful conlangs to study.

As an English-speaker, constructing a language is one way to increase one’s appreciation for the complexity and expressiveness of English. Just think, for example, how many ways you can say “yes” in English:

  • yes
  • yes sir
  • yea
  • aye
  • absolutely
  • affirmative
  • agreed
  • can do
  • certainly
  • cool
  • good enough
  • I do
  • I suppose so
  • OK
  • roger
  • sure
  • right on
  • you bet
  • totally
  • yeh, and that’s not all, folks

The Sharpεnis lexicon is much more limited.

Like all of my works that are online, I revise and update this language without notice. Issues that I intend to resolve by analysis and translation include:

  1. Whether it is a good idea to disallow using a word for more than one part of speech. The Sharpεnis numbers break this rule because they may serve both as nouns and as adjectives. The hypenated present participle also breaks this rule if we continue to let it serve as both an adjective and a noun (gerund). Otherwise, Sharpεn avoids allowing a word to be used as different parts of speech.

See also in The book of science:

Readings in wikipedia:

Other resources: