tlhIngan-Hol Archive: Tue Jun 08 11:56:40 1999

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RE: Hlchop (KLBC)

Welcome to the list, Kelly. My name is pagh, and I am the current Beginners'
Grammarian for the list. I see you already know about KLBC's ...

jatlh Kelly Mason:

> check my spelling, then...


> I just saw a post that said "Hlchop" ment "Bite me" as in a klingon 
> kiss. I'm wondering if it's as insulting for an inferior to say this 
> (Hlchop) to a superior on Cronos(see above) as it (Bite me) is on 
> Earth.

One spelling problem you have is the most common one in Klingon. The writing
system we use for Klingon uses the upper case I (eye) and the lower case l
(ell) as different letters, and with a sans serif font like many email
programs have, it's impossible to tell the difference. Fortunately, Klingon
spelling is regular enough so that only one of the two possibilities makes
sense. Once you get used to reading Klingon, it will be easy to tell which
is which, except maybe in examples like <lIlI'lI'>. In the meantime, you can
make things easier for yourself by switching to a serif font like Courier in
your email program. The other problem is "Cronos". The usual Federation
Standard spelling is "Kronos", although "Chronos" might be possible as well.
The Klingon spelling is most definitely <Qo'noS>.

As for <HIchop> being insulting, it's hard to say. The association with
kissing came from an interview Marc Okrand (the creator of the language) did
with the Radio Times magazine in England. He was asked to translate a few
short phrases, including "give us a kiss, love". It came out as <HIchop,
bang>. Given the generally amused tone of the article, I'm not sure how
seriously we should take all this. If you said <HIchop> to a Klingon who had
not had much human contact, I suspect one of two things would happen: either
he would just look at you strangely for a while and ignore you, or he would
take it literally, open his mouth, and take a good chomp.

Beginners' Grammarian

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