tlhIngan-Hol Archive: Mon Apr 26 15:51:33 1999

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RE: KLBC: Clause this right?

> I don't think <Hung tlhab ghap> works. This says that they mis-deserve
> (makes perfect sense in Klingon; not so much in English) either security
> or freedom, but not both. I think what you mean is that they mis-deserve 
> both security *and* freedom.
jIjatlh quljIb:
> {Hung tlhab joq qotlhHa'taH} is the wanted phrase. "Freedon and/or
> security they continuously mis-deserve."

> Actually, I don't think it is. <Hung tlhab joq qotlhHa'taH> means that
> misdeserve *at least one of* "freedom" and/or "security". The point of the
> original quote is that they deserve neither, so they must misdeserve

jatlh quljIb:
> As a math student I must respectfully disagree. The rules of logic (he
> says putting on a set of pointed ears) argue in favor of {joq}. Here, I
> shall illustrate:

> I like Green Eggs AND Ham.
> I like Green Eggs OR Ham.

> With the the first one, I'm saying I like both, together. In the 
> second, I'm saying I'll have one, but not with the other.

Neither English nor Klingon are logical languages like Lojban or Vulcan.
Does "I like Green Eggs and Ham." really mean I like them together? It
probably does: it probably means I like a dish called "green eggs and ham".
It could also mean I like green eggs AND I like ham, either together or
separately. Does "I like deep sea diving, gardening and classical music."
mean I like to do all three activities at the same time? It certainly does
not. It means I like deep sea diving, AND I like gardening, AND I like
classical music.

Mapping English conjunctions to logical operators only works when those
conjunctions are between complete logical propositions. When the
conjunctions are joining simple nouns, things are not nearly as neat.

The English noun phrase "A and B" could mean a single entity called "A and
B" (e.g. Green Eggs and Ham; Simon and Garfunkle); it could also mean two
separate entities, but always considered together; it could also mean two
completely independent entities, so that given a proposition p, <p("A and
B")> is equivalent to <p(A) AND p(B)>. It could also conceivably mean other

The problem gets even worse in English for "A or B" because of the whole
exclusive/inclusive OR thing. Klingon is at least better about that.

When discussing logic using a set of well defined mathematical symbols, you
need only concern yourself with logic. When discussing logic in a natural
language, you need to consider not only logic, but also how the language

> Now to the negatives:

> I do not like Green Eggs AND Ham.
> I do not like Green Eggs OR Ham.

> Again with the first sentence, I'm telling Sam that I don't like the
> two together. This says nothing about separate dishes. In the second, 
> I'm telling Sam, I don't like one of them, but I'm not commenting on 
> the other. I CAN hate both, whether I DO or not is immiterial, As 
> long as I hate at lest ONE the statement holds true.

Again, you can't blindly map conjunctions between simple nouns to logical
operators. And just to demonstrate this, I have to interpret differently: it
is telling Sam that I like NEITHER.

> Slightly different is the following:

> I like Green Eggs AND I like (Green) Ham.
> I like Green Eggs OR I like (Green) Ham.

> The meanings of these should be obvious.

Well, actually the second is ambiguous. Is that <qoj> or <pagh>?

> Again, the negatives:

> I do not like Green Eggs AND I do not like (Green) Ham.
> I do not like Green Eggs OR I do not like (Green) Ham.

> The first statement is what the narrator means when he says "I do 
> not like Green Eggs and Ham." (Yes, yes, it's actually one dish; 
> bear with me will you?) The second statement show that I dislike 
> AT LEAST one, I CAN dislike others, but I need not.

Now you've gotten to the point where you can apply your mathematical
education to plain English sentences. "I do not like Green Eggs" is a
logical proposition, as is "I do not like Ham." You can now safely draw the
parallel between the English conjunction and and the logical operator AND.
You have to be a little careful with OR, but it's possible to deal with it.

> Now, back to the original Klingon.

> This honourless p'tahk does not deserve both freedom AND security 
> AND he does not deserve freedom OR security.

tlhIngan Hol wIqelqa'. maj.

Now that we are back to the Klingon, I must point out another problem. The
verb here is not <qotlhbe'>; it's <qotlhHa'>. This brings up an interesting
question - does <-Ha'> correspond to logical negation? I really don't think
it does. In this case, we are translating <qotlhHa'> as someting like
"mis-deserve". <cha' peng bachHa'> doesn't sound even remotely like a
logical negation of <bach>.

> Represented mathmatically:

My point is that you can't just jump right to mathematical symbols from the
text. There needs to be an analysis of the text to see *what it means*.

> p = freedom
> q = security
> ~ = negation

> ~(p AND q) AND ~(p OR q) = ~p AND ~q

> i.e. he deserves not-freedom and not-security. He deserves 
> neither. He does not deserve freedom {Hung} and/or security {tlhab}.

I actually thought about this for a bit before posting my response, and I
considered <joq>. However, what this really means is:

<Hung qotlhHa' 'ej tlhab qotlhHa'>, and that is clearly <Hung tlhab je
qotlhHa'>. If the verb had been <qotlhbe'>, things would have been

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