tlhIngan-Hol Archive: Mon Jun 28 07:39:57 1993

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HoS voDleH jIH

This is a repost of something I sent out last week; it seems to have gotten
cut off after the sample page stuff.

>From: (Erich Schneider)
>Date:    Fri, 25 Jun 93 10:58:25 CDT
>Content-Length: 2287

>From: Will Martin <>
>Date:    Fri, 25 Jun 93 08:58:06 EDT
>X-Mailer: UVa PCMail 1.7.1
>Content-Length: 1163

>>Also, is it the convention here to use punctuation? If the list is
>>trying to be strict in following TKD, punctuation is never mentioned, and
>>I've never seen it used on any set.

>We use punctuation here, formatting paragraphs as in English, using
>periods as in English, and using question marks as well. (Although I
>have at times personally questioned the need for question marks
>because there are syntactic indicators of questions in the language.)
>Also, when we need to use English words in Klingon sentences, we put
>the English words in double quotes, rather than leaving them there or
>"Klingonizing" them.

I've been thinking about page-layout myself, working a little with a
METAFONT version of the Okuda font.  HolQeD, for instance, just *assumed*
that Klingon was written left-to-right, without so much as commenting on
it, but why should it be?  Why not right-to-left, or up-and-down, or

Well, from what we see of written Klingon in the shows and movies, it does
seem to be written horizontally for the most part, so I guess we can stick
with that restriction.  But which way?  Okuda says he tries to make Klingon
look like it starts in the middle of the screen and works its way out.
Maybe Klingon prose is generally written in two columns, with the left-hand
column read right-to-left and the right-hand column read left-to-right.
Maybe actually in four quadrants with the upper quadrants being read upward
as well, but to my mind that may be going a little far.  There's also room
for discussion with just two columns:

1..............2     3...............4
5..............6     7...............8
9.............10     11.............12

Does the text read 2->1, 3->4, 6->5, 7->8,..., 10->9, 11-12? (i.e. each
line split in the middle, left-column first)  Or perhaps 2->1, 6->5,...,
10->9, 3->4, 7->8,..., 11-12? (i.e. each column separately, left column
first).  Or right column first in these cases?  I've been assuming the
binding of a book (if it's a book) at the top, which would avoid confusiojn
of maybe starting always at the binding.  Perhaps top-bound books derived
from vertical scrolls, read as in the first alternative.  I'm not proposing
any of these as defintive, I'm just randonly brainstorming.  It's not
necessarily as ridiculous as it sounds; some languages, including, I
understand, very very old Greek, were written in "boustrophedon" format,
which is basically the way you'd mow your lawn: one line right-to-left, the
next line left-to-right, and so on.  (Nick, if you're still there, can you
give us any details on this?)  To my mind, any such convention probably
wouldn't last more than a generation, since people would get used to one
direction and start using it exclusively, but who knows?


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