tlhIngan-Hol Archive: Thu Jan 10 12:40:06 2002

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RE: qepHommaj

> Does anyone else have any examples of ambiguous statements (deliberate 
> or unintentional) that they've run into?  I'd like to collect some and 
> maybe put up a webpage.

> HIja' = "Yes!" or "Tell me!"
> jISaHbe' = "I don't care." or "I'm not here." [The perfect Klingon 
> answering machine text.]
> nargh = "He escaped." or "He appeared."

chovnatlhvam vIparHa'bej. 

I've always thought there is more to these examples that just coincidence. I'm sure there are some very interesting stories in the (fictional) etymology of these - particularly <nargh>. Of course, the real reason is quite likely either the convenience of script writers (changing subtitles or the like) or Okrand's twisted mind.

> Ambiguities in Klingon are quite common. Okrand likes this, since it 
> is true of most natural langauges. Still, a careful speaker can 
> usually disambiguate almost anything, especially if there is 
> sufficient context to guide the listener to the right meaning.

This makes <wej> all the more annoying - it seems to me to be the one ambiguity that is often impossible to resolve, even with context.


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