tlhIngan-Hol Archive: Tue Oct 26 17:24:03 1999
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Re: nID cha' attn:KLBG
>From: "Andeen, Eric" <Eric.Andeen@Sequencia.com>
>Date: Mon, 25 Oct 1999 18:18:48 -0700
>> There is no way, in English nor ta' Hol, to distinguish
>> between the concept of life and a particular concrete
>> example of (a) life. So if it pleases the court, I request
>> a few moments to defend my choice of words.
English uses various tricks of grammar to handle this; Klingon either
doesn't do it or has special vocabulary. We say "life is pain" for the
general concept and "a life is a pain" for an instance (though perhaps a
general instance). Klingon has "noH" for an instance of war and "veS" for
warfare in general (here's an case of English using special vocabulary:
warfare vs. war).
>> A concept is a mental abstraction. The basis of all
>> mental abstractions are -several- specific concrete
>> examples. You have a life, as do I and most people on
>> this list. We all have lives, but we also all have
>> life. So if you use life (yIn) to refer to the concept,
>> the noun is plural. The concept covers many different
>> concrete examples, and is therefore plural.
>DaH jIQochnIS. Klingon does not treat abstract concepts like "life" or
>"honor" or "warfare" as plural. They are singular. That's just the way
Actually, in English they're singular too. "Life is pain." "War is hell."
"Work makes free." Even "Man is a hairless ape." I suppose English can do
it with plurals also; "Plurals are used for certain effects," "People are
strange," "Computers are a pain in the butt." But certainly you can't rule
out singulars for them, in English or in Klingon (as evidenced by words
like veS, vaj).
>> veS instead of noH: All life is warfare. It is not a
>> specific concrete war. It is many different wars,
>> fought on many different fronts, with many different
>> weapons, requiring many different tactics and skills.
>> As well as other non combat elements of warfare such
>> as intelligence gathering, logistics, strategic
>> thinking, alliance formation, etc. just to name a few.
Yeah, but you used a singular verb, didn't you?