tlhIngan-Hol Archive: Fri May 14 08:56:09 1999

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Re: Puns as beginners' words (KLBC)

qa'ral wrote:
: I just couldn't figure out why the deafening silence every time I
: up Klingon puns (Qujmu'?).
: Here's the bit for beginners (like me):  Puns are an amazing mnemonic
: and instant vocabulary builder.  Read over the message "Re: Word Origin
: Speculation II"

lhIngan-Hol/1997/Feb97/0136.html) and
: you'll find you've memorized thirty, forty, fifty words without even
: I may be reinventing the wheel, but this could make a brilliant exercise
: anyone's /qepHom/.

You're not being ignored, it's just that for the old-timers on the list
this is indeed old news.  When we all started with Klingon, we all went
through a stage where we were excited to find Okrand's puns and word
plays.  (Try spelling some words backwards.  Here are two to get you
started: {qup} and {mol}.)  Most of us have already found the more obvious
examples and there isn't much to add to your comments.  But don't stop
posting them either; you may find some the others have missed.  Chances
that we will never identify them all, for Okrand has a devious sense of
humor, as someone with a Ph.D. in Native American linguistics he has
studied several of the more obscure languages, and some puns are just
private jokes.  (E.g. he had a neighbor named Jill.)

There have been suggestions that we maintain a list of these, either in
FAQ or in a separate file like charghwI's New Words List.  After due
consideration - not to mention the absence of volunteers to maintain it -
the collective feeling was that having such a list would spoil the fun for
the {chu'wI'pu'}.  Discovering a new pun is part of the Klingon adventure.

In fact, we're still finding puns, double-entendre's and unsuspected loans
years later in the old vocabulary, not to mention the new words Maltz is
slowly revealing to us.  We do like to share them with each other on the

Some of us - me for one - annotate our own on-line glossary files with the
puns for I agree with you: they make excellent mnemonic aides.  On the
other hand - and on this list there's always another hand! - some people
actually find the puns annoying as they claim to be unable to forget the
joke whenever they read "serious" Klingon.  For them the puns spoil the
illusion of a natural, albeit alien, language.  Go figure.  Those people
don't have to read any of the threads with "pun" or "joke" in the Subject

So don't be discouraged at the lack of comment.  This list has a large
number of lurkers who are either too shy or too uncertain of their grammar
but they enjoy reading the discussions and appreciate your insights.  

Ca'Non Master of the Klingons

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