tlhIngan-Hol Archive: Sun Mar 10 14:39:57 2002

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Re: Armpit Revisions

Obviously, I was there as well, and I don't really think my memories of it are 
all that less reliable than anyone else's. I don't really challenge any of 
these interpretations of the event, except that I think SuStel has gone to 
extraordinary lengths to make presumptions about what was going on in Okrand's 
head while this was going on.

With the simple change that I'd make less assumption about what Okrand didn't 
understand and when his humor kicked in, I agree with SuStel.


> I was there also, and vividly remember the event.  I can coroborate
> evertything SuStel has said.
> SuSvaj
> At 01:40 PM 03/06/2002 -0500, you wrote:
> >The "mischievous" or "mysterious" grin of Okrand is frequently
> >misremembered, and then used to add in one's own interpretation of an event.
> >Phrases like "trademark smile" should NOT be used when trying to impart
> >information about what Okrand is saying.
> >
> >The story of /'I'/ is often told, and nearly always told incorrectly.  I
> >have a crystal clear memory of the event, but I can only ask you to trust me
> >on that.  What makes my rendition any more correct than someone else's?
> >Well, because it IS what happened.  I very intentionally committed that
> >moment to memory as soon as it happened, because I recognized that it was a
> >classic moment.  (That, and when I insist I remember an event, any
> >verifyable details virtually always prove me right.)
> >
> >The most important thing to keep in mind: OKRAND DOESN'T SPEAK KLINGON.  And
> >at this time (qep'a' wejDIch), he didn't even have much of a grasp of the
> >vocabulary.  He could use the dictionary just fine, but little of it was
> >stored in his head.
> >
> >Seqram was telling about how the illegitimate word /'I'/ came to be.  Okrand
> >was there and listening with the rest of us; we'd formed a small circle on
> >chairs and the floor, mostly to sit around Okrand.  Seqram got to the gag,
> >where the torturous derivation of where the word /'I'/ had actually come
> >from was summarized.
> >
> >Okrand didn't quite get it.  Not being a Klingon speaker, he wasn't
> >completely following the story.  When Seqram was finished, and everybody had
> >had their laugh, Okrand asked what the word for armpit WAS, probably
> >figuring that would make the story a little clearer for him.
> >
> >This was, of course, more irony than we could resist, and most of us, in
> >concert, asked, "What IS the word for armpit?" some in amusement (like
> >myself), and some genuinely asking him, despite the enormous pressure at the
> >time not to pester Okrand for any new words.
> >
> >This made it click for him.  There WASN'T a word for "armpit," and now he
> >understood that.  There was a slight pause, and then his sense of irony
> >kicked in and he said, quietly, and totally straight-faced, "'I'."  That's
> >when we started howling.
> >
> >I appreciate the /'I'/ event for Okrand's excellent sense of irony and humor
> >(and good-naturedness), not for any clever or devious jokes he allegedly
> >created.  When finally confronted with a semi-serious request for a new
> >word, he chose the one that was the funniest choice available: the one we
> >kept insisting it wasn't.
> >
> >SuStel
> >Stardate 2178.7
> >

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