tlhIngan-Hol Archive: Sat Dec 04 18:54:04 1999

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Re: cardinal directions

Man!  The intricacies of details people are trying to deduce from three
lousy words!  Okrand gave us some directional words and folks are working
out the details of Kronos' rotation and the Klingons' attitude toward their
poles and what they consider make good co-ordinates!  Aren't we reading a
bit much into all this?

Okrand was very deliberately vague about the directions... and that's all
they are: DIRECTIONS.  We have no reason to believe that there are map
co-ordinates based on them, latitude and longitude, etc.  (not strictly
true: we HAVE seen their tactical displays laid out in *equilateral*
triangles, so maybe they do something a little like this).  They aren't
even *precise* directions!  Okrand says that 'ev and tIng are *ABOUT* 100
degrees apart, etc.

How would Klingons say "north"?  They probably wouldn't.  They'd look at a
map and see if it was closer to 'ev or maybe 'ev chan or chan, and see
which fit best.  I suspect their "second-order" directions ('ev chan, 'ev
tIng, tIng chan) get more usage than our northwest, northeast, etc, but
they probably don't use their "third-order" directions all that much
(probably not much more than we say "east-south-east").  When they want to
be *precise*, they have co-ordinates.

Does Kronos even *have* a magnetic field (significant enough to divert a
needle)?  The existence or non-existence of directional words do not prove
anything.  Ditto notions about its rotation.  Maybe there were important
landmarks (mountain ranges or something) at 'ev and tIng from some main
settlement, whose dialect became the ancestor of modern Klingon and lent it
those words.  Or maybe not.  There are terran cultures (I am assured) who
use directions decidedly different from our N/S/E/W, and yet all evidence
seems to support the proposition that their planet has exactly the same
rotation, astronomy, and magnetic field as ours.

I tend to view these directions as harking back to a time when you were
mostly concerned with roughly which direction the wildebeest were migrating
in, to within 10-15 degrees or so.  It isn't like you were trying to
predict their precise location in three months...

(OK, granted, I have a feeling we, if not Klingons, are going to be
pretending the directions are evenly spaced pretty quick.  But it isn't
like that's all that far from true)


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