tlhIngan-Hol Archive: Sat Apr 06 05:40:30 2002

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to' / Dup

I have an interesting problem.
In restoring /Oblique Strategies/ to the original Klingon, I came to use 
{to' nech} (or in English running text, "To'nech", glossed as "The Lateral 
Tactics") as the title, and in the markup, I have each little dictum marked 
as an individual {to'}.  However, Steven Boozer pointed out to me that TKD 
says that the noun {to'} means not "tactic", but "tactics".  He points to 
"Dup" (TKD = "strategy") as a conceptually similar word that I might use.

And this got me thinking:  What does the TKD entry << to' (n)    tactics >> 
mean?  Does it mean that {to'} is one of those always-plural nouns, like 
"negh", and does it refer to several of the things that in English we would 
each call a "tactic"?  Or is it that {to'} is grammatically singular, but 
is best translated with the English plural "tactics", in the same way the 
English singular noun "luggage" is best translated into French as the 
plural noun "bagages"?  Or is {to'} a singular noun that is being 
translated by the singular (!) English noun "tactics"? (as in a sentence 
like "tactics /is/ the study of battles, whereas strategy [not 'a 
strategy', but just 'strategy'] is the study of waging whole wars" -- 
compare "Physics is... ; linguistics is...".)

Maybe Okrand and Maltz do not mean to reflect the classical military 
distinction in English between "strategic" things and "tactical" things, 
but instead are using "strategy" as a count noun (referring to each ploy, 
whether at the tactical or strategic level), and "tactics" as a noun 
referring to the study of this.  Something like: tactics {to'} is the study 
of strategies {Dupmey} in the same way that genetics is the study of genes.

Working on this premise, I could continue to call the text the {to' nech}, 
reading it as a singular noun phrase, and refer to each entry in it as a 
{Dup nech}.

toH jatlh -- vuDmeyraj?

Sean M. Burke

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