tlhIngan-Hol Archive: Tue Mar 29 08:07:40 1994

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Re: KLBC: nuqDaq jIyInlI'

>The phrase {loDHom be'Hom ghap 'oHchugh wISov wIneHbe'} looks a little on the
>convoluted side. Something like "In the event that it is either a boy or a
>girl we don't want to know."
>First of all, why did you use ['oH]. In English we use "it" for babies when
>we don't know the sex, but Klingons have a sexless {ghaH}.
>But then there's the question of whether a baby can be classified as
>"sentient". My vote is that a baby is {ghaH} to a Klingon. But you could
>argue either way. (And, yes, I know the KLBC is not a place for debates).
>2ndly, {-chugh} doesn't mean "if" as in "whether." For "We want to whether
>it's a boy or girl," it would be best to use {-'a'}.
>{be'Hom loDHom ghap ghaH'a' 'e' wISovbe' wIneH}
>"Is he/she a girl or boy? that we want to not know."
>I used {-be'} on the first verb after {'e'} because it looks more natural to
>me. But that's just part of my style. You can copy it or not, whatever floats
>your boat.
>Guido#1, Leader of All Guidos
>ghItlh 'o' (PS): This is all not intended for me to go over the current
>Grammarian's head. These are just some suggestions that the Grammarian might
>have missed. Is that OK?---

It was perfectly appropriate.  I was away visiting family for
Passover, and I suspect mark is likewise off-line, so I'm sure this
sat long enough uncorrected that it was ok for you to take a shot at
it.  Moreover, your correction is right on the mark-- I was gonna
respond to it myself until I saw you already fielded it.  Someone
(charghwI'?  I lost the mail) posted a further refinement.  I think
it came out as:

be'Hom ghaH'a' pagh loDHom ghaH'a' 'e' wISovbe' wIneH

I agree that this is superior.  I'll offer one last suggestion.  I
think the -Hom's are a little extraneous.  We know we're talking
about a baby, so I don't really think we're asking about boy/girl so
much as male/female.  So I offer:

be' ghaH'a' pagh loD ghaH'a' 'e' wISovbe' wIneH

As for the choice of where to put the -be', that's a subtle
shade-of-meaning decision.  I've done it here Guido's way; as such
it implies more-than-indifference-- an active desire not to know.
I.e, if you know, don't tell us; we don't want to know.  If you put
the -be' on the neH, that seems slightly more passive, more
indifferent, i.e. we didn't bother to find out because we don't want
to know, though if you tell us it would be no skin off our noses.
Failing to want something is not exactly the same as wanting its
opposite.  Which one chooses is entirely a matter of the shade of
meaning one wants to express.


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