tlhIngan-Hol Archive: Tue Jul 06 10:50:26 1999

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Re: jIchegh tulajchugh

On Mon, 5 Jul 1999 19:54:59 -0400 Alan Anderson 
<> wrote:

> ja' K'ryntes:
> >...A person's actions can be brief but a person can't
> >literally be "a short duration of time" they can only accomplish things in
> >a short
> >duration of time.  That's how I see it anyway.
> Maybe we're reading different definitions of {ngaj}.  The one I'm using
> is "be short (in duration)", as given on pages 222 and 256 of KGT.  If
> something has misled people into thinking it means "be a short duration"
> then I can understand the confusion.

Actually, I read "be short (in duration)" as being "be brief". 
As such, you are saying "I am brief" or one of the tense 
variations on that. I honestly think that's pretty idiomatic. 
Your presentation or message might be brief, and perhaps on a 
cosmic scale, you are brief, but for the most part, you are 
and likely will be as long as an average lifetime.
> I'm not trying to say "I will *be* a short amount of time." 

That does seem to be what peHruS is arguing, but maybe he is 
just having a hard time expressing his objection. I won't try to 
speak for him. I also don't want to be a part of yet another 
ongoing nit-pick about the use of a word.

You can definitely use this word this way. Most people will 
understand what you are saying. I personally think it is an odd 
use of the word, but that is only one opinion. peHruS also has 
another opinion, though it looks less like I'm agreeing with him 
than it looks like there are three divergent opinions here.

I'm sure there are more.

Can this thread just die? It hasn't presented any new insight 
for some time now, though it keeps bouncing back and forth. 
Since nobody is being convinced of anything, can we not act on 
the principle of whoever posts last wins? That is what keeps 
threads like this going on forever, after all.

> I'm trying
> to say "I will *occupy* a short amount of time."  Isn't {jIngaj} exactly
> right for that meaning?

I'm fine with saying you can say this and people will understand 
you. "Exactly" is a strong word. I think you are overstretching 
it a bit. Can you see a difference between a brief speech and a 
brief person? I honestly think this verb works better on the 
speech than the person. Events are appropriate subjects for 
{ngaj}. If you wish to speak of a person as an event, the 
typical boundaries for such an event are birth and death, hence 
my little problem with {jIngaj}.

But it is a small problem. I won't call you down every time you 
use the word this way. I promise not to even wince visibly if 
you use it in front of me, unless the situation calls for it for 
comic effect. This is supposed to be fun, remember? And I'll 
continue to respect you as a fine Klingonist, even if we never 
agree on this use of the word. Frankly, I don't find it 
interesting enough to devote this much mindspace to it or I'd 
argue the case more clearly and to greater lengths. Use it as 
you choose.
> ja' charghwI':
> >I agree. If I read someone say, <<jIngaj>> I expect them to be
> >young and about to die.
> If I wanted that interpretation, I'd say {jIru'}. :)

ru' Hoch. ru' ngajwI'. ru' nI'wI'.
> >I'd be much more understanding of
> >something like {ngaj QInvam 'e' vIlay'}.
> I agree completely -- something like that would certainly have made the
> meaning much more explicit.  Unfortunately, it approximately triples the
> amount of time involved in saying it, going rather against my intent! 

ngaj QInvam.

Now, it is only 50% longer, and a lot clearer.

> I
> still don't understand the problem, unless I'm missing a clarification of
> just what {ngaj} means.  But with all of you respectable people telling me
> I'm saying something badly, I have to accept that it's probably true.

I just see that "be short (in duration)" refers to a period of 
time with boundaries at the beginning and end or to an event 
that has as part of its definition a period of time with 
boundaries at the beginning and end. These are things that can 
be brief. A range of time can be brief. An event can be brief, 
since part of being an event is being something which has a 
beginning and an end. With the right perspective, everything is 
an event, since people are born and die and they don't exist 
before or after these boundaries. Cities are built and buried 
and don't exist before or after these events. Planets and stars 
form and disappear. It just depends on how far you wish to push 
the concept of time boundaries, but "be short (in duration) 
certainly refers to the subject's relative duration between 
beginning and end and the subject is the thing that begins and 
ends. Meanwhile you don't begin with the beginning of your 
message, nor do you end with the end of your message, so it 
seems rather odd for you to be talking about your message and 
then say {jIngaj}. You might as well talk about your car and say 
{jIqIj} or talk about your city and say {cha' 'uy' nuvpu' 
vIngaS} or talk about your son and say {jav ben jIboghpu'}.

But that is just my opinion. It counts for nothing. Use the word 
however you like and enjoy the language and the good company.
> >I know I'm not as cute as Qov, but I will offer my support to
> >your perspective.
> chaq Daleghlu'DI' bI'IHqu'be', 'ach nI'IHmoHbej ta'lIj.

SaghoHmoHchugh neH Dojbe' ta'wIj.
> -- ghunchu'wI'

charghwI' 'utlh

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