tlhIngan-Hol Archive: Tue Mar 08 04:56:20 1994

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Re: re: vIH

> Amy West writes
charghwI' responds
> It's on CK, where the waiter says, "Terrans enjoy eating
> burnt animals".
> Ha'DIbaHmey meQ Sop'e' tIv tera'gnanpu'
> Amy

     Thank you. I presume that this means you heard this and wrote it down,
so the typo is not Okrand's, and {'e'} is the pronoun and not the suffix.
Overall, this is an ugly example, given that the people who want to use {ba'}
adjectivally to mean "sitting" would interpret this to mean "Earthers enjoy
that they eat burning animals." VERY nasty imagery.

     So, we have a tape, which does not come with accompanying written
material. The tape includes words that are not in TKD. There is no explicit
spelling and no particular notation saying, "This is a word that does not
appear in your TKD," when those new words are presented. And on this tape, we
have exactly ONE example of what we interpret to be {meQ} used adjectivally
without considering that Okrand may have been creating a new use for {meQ}
just like he created the completely new words on the tape, similar to the way
he has taken several words in the original word list and expanded their
meaning in the addendum. Then again, he could have used yet another new word
that sounds a lot like {meQ} to mean [burned, be burned].

     And based on our presumption that the word is {meQ} and our presumption
that he did not expand its meaning beyond the original definition in TKD, we
then use THIS as an argument against the rather clear description of what can
be used as an adjective in the introductory remarks for the word list on
pages 78 and 79.

     I'm sorry, guys. I'm not impressed. THIS is the great example that
proves that we should discount the clear directions Okrand gave us for what
can be used adjectivally? THIS is the example that has been pointed to
repeatedly, that has been so widely accepted as fundamental canon such that
we can then casually refer to it and brush aside arguments that do not
include it within our interpretation of the rules?

     What kind of fools are we, anyway?

     Hmm. Dangerous question, considering the response of my "normal" friends
when I tell them that I speak Klingon and I've been hired to teach it in
Boise, ID this summer. But the more universal point being placed aside, why
in this particular case, do we cling to what is almost certainly an ugly
glich in Okrand's otherwise impressively consistent language? Why do we use
THIS to fight the clarity offered in the Introductory Remarks concerning
which verbs may be used adjectivally? If this is the best argument against
those remarks, then we dwell upon weakness. We seek chaos. We prefer petty
squabbles to clear communication.

     We lose.

     A language's function is communication. This requires cooperation among
those who use the language. There are many vague corners in TKD (fractions,
referents, whether {vatlh} is a word or a number forming element...). The
more of them there are, the weaker the language becomes. This, in particular,
does not need to be so vague, yet we cling to the most vague intepretation we
can find, holding tight to the worst example in canon since {taH pagh
taHbe'}, or "twelve hundred hours" expressed as {cha'maH wa' vatlh rep}, on
that same canonical tape.

     Sheeeeeesh. qoHpu'na' maHchu'.


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