tlhIngan-Hol Archive: Mon Dec 15 14:31:01 2014

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Re: [Tlhingan-hol] keeping "KLI folklore" words in word lists

De'vID (

I think everyone has made very good points, and the choice comes down
to a trade-off.

> I agree with SuStel here: The question is that if one includes made up words
> in a list, where will you stop? Now we only have these four "KLI-folklore"
> words, but what if some group of people will begin using their own words?

I have no plans for, say, KAG slang (if such a thing exists), Khemorex
Klinzhai jargon, and so on. The reason these non-canon words were
originally included in {boQwI'} was because the list was originally
for myself, and I recorded whatever was understood among regulars of
this mailing list, so the only slang is KLI slang.

I do know that a few people, at least, use {boQwI'} to read messages
in Klingon posted here (especially when Qov was posting her stories).
When a word is used in this mailing list which appears to be
understood by the regulars but isn't in {boQwI'}, someone asks me to
include it. This was actually the case for {pabpo'}: it was included
because it (and more specifically, the phrase {taghwI' pabpo'}) had
been used by previous beginner's grammarians to welcome new members to
the list. (At least, that's what I remember about why it was added.
But the list archive search doesn't seem to be working, so I can't
provide evidence of this.)

The non-canon entries are marked fairly clearly, using the mechanism
used for extended canon entries (i.e., words or phrases which appeared
in episodes or books, for which we may or may not know the Okrandian
spelling). You can see some screen shots of such entries here:

The reason that I added extended canon entries (I originally didn't
collect them myself) is that most users of {boQwI'} are Star Trek fans
who are only casually into the Klingon language, which is the other
way around from most KLI members. For example, every once in a while,
I get a request like "Worf said 'forshak' in some episode, what does
it mean and why can't I find it in {boQwI'}?" Apparently, when some
people read K.R.A. DeCandido's Klingon books and encounter a Klingon
word, they pull out their phone or tablet to learn more about it, and
they get annoyed at {boQwI'} (enough to hit the link to email me) if
they can't find it. So I do include extended canon for that reason,
while marking the entries clearly as non-(Okrand)-canon.

It's fairly unlikely that a typical {boQwI'} user would encounter
*{HIlel}. I think the more likely use case is the other way around: a
Star Trek fan looking for the Klingon word for "sandwich", in which
case it's better not to show them a made-up (though widely understood
among KLI members) word. I'll remove *{HIlel} as an entry. It seems to
be in the same spirit as *{yID} and *{tlhoqo'}, i.e., KLI slang. I
lean towards seeing {pabpo'} in the same way. (But do those of you who
are former KLI grammarians and have used this word feel differently?)

> "Extended canon" is one thing, it is written and spread, but an internal use
> of a fake word does not make it worth being listed. And if a newbie will
> search for it, he will find out that the word does simply NOT exist. It's
> not canon.

"Extended canon", even without adding KLI slang to the mix, already
poses difficulties. What gives K.R.A. DeCandido the right/privilege
({DIb}) of being able to invent Klingon words? Well, because he's a
popular author who writes under license from CBS. But if I'm going to
include words made up by DeCandido (again, marked clearly as
non-canon), why shouldn't a word like {pabpo'} be included? I suspect,
for example, that more Klingonists understand {pabpo'} than *{poHmey
vatlh} or *{qorvIt}, even though perhaps many Star Trek fans (those
who read Star Trek novels) know of "korvit" as a Klingon animal.
(Incidentally, someone told me that {qorvIt} was meant to be the same
word as "korut" or something like that, which was said by Kurn in some
episode or other, but I haven't found any evidence of this.)

Speaking of which, since Marc Okrand has "vetted" some of DeCandido's
words at the latest qepHom, should these be promoted from extended
canon to canon? I've added {batqul} and {qInlat}, since these are
words which have appeared in Star Trek canon (TV episodes), and I see
Marc Okrand as only confirming their original Klingon spelling. OTOH,
I see a word like *{ngengroQ}, which has appeared only in DeCandido's
book and not on any Star Trek episode (AFAIK), as not a canon word,
though I've included it as extended canon.

> What if we start to use {'ughabugha} everyday? will it become a slang term
> listed in a dictionary? I'm exaggerating, but the danger is that we'd get a
> dictionary with more made up words than real canon words. That's not the
> purpose of a dictionary.

Well, if everyone used it enough and Marc Okrand heard about it and
vetted it, or we convinced K.R.A. DeCandido to write it in a book,
then yes, I'll include it in {boQwI'} too. :-)


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