tlhIngan-Hol Archive: Tue Mar 12 10:03:10 2002

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Re: KLBC: Higher numbers

> > ... on the Bird of Prey poster:
> > {wejvatlh SochmaH vagh SaD cheb'a'mey ngI' Duj}
> > 
> > Is he saying "The ship weighs 375,000 {cheb'a'}s" ?
> > 
> > If the number is 375,000, doesn't TKD indicate that the number phrase 
> > should be {wejbIp Sochnetlh vaghSaD} ?
> hmm, yes, you are correct... but maybe they're as relaxed with number forming 
> words as we are.  In (American) English, eleven hundred is the same as one 
> thousand one hundred.  We have also seen MO use numbers without the placement 
> terms, usually (always?) in stardates, wa' Hut Hut chorgh.  Is MO now 
> saying "oops" when he reads your message, or has he always thought "yah, you 
> can do it either way."?

Okrand has been "flexible" with most number-related canon. We now have at least 
two different means of talking about what time it is. We can either speak in 
what is, for an American, military time, such that 2pm is {wa'maH loSvatlh 
rep}, or we can say {wa'maH loSlogh Qoylu'}. If you have the Coversational 
Klingon audiotape, you should know that one of his statements of time is an 
outright blunder as he says something like {wa'maH cha'vatlh rep} when he meant 
{cha'maH wa'vatlh rep}. You just have to forgive him for occasional stuff like 

Also note that he has given us no examples of how to speak of time of day other 
than on the whole hour. By extraction, many of us continue the military time 
analogy and refer to half past noon as {wa'maH cha'vatlh wejmaH rep}, but we 
don't really have any canon to back that up. I also have no idea how that would 
work with the {Xlogh Qoylu'} method. Maybe something like {wejmaH tup ret 
wa'maH cha'logh Qoylu'}. Meanwhile, with talk about time being so verbose, I 
can see that maybe Klingons just avoid the topic whenever possible.

cha'Daq pawDI' ghopHom 'ej wejDaq pawDI' ghop'a'...

> > Another question: do we really have no number-forming elements higher 
> > than 'million'-- {'uy'} ?
> I'm very certain that klingon has such words... we just don't know them yet.
I find it particularly interesting that Okrand gave us Klingon words for all 
the numbers that all English-speaking peoples agree on. He did not give us any 
words for the numbers that Americans use differently from other English-
speakers. Multiplying each previous number by 1,000, Americans progress thusly:

A thousand
A million
A billion
A trillion
A quadrillion
A quintillion
A sextillion

Others progress thusly:

A thousand
A million
A thousand million
A billion
A thousand billion
A million billion
A trillion

Others are more productive in terms of requiring a smaller vocabulary to refer 
to a larger range of numbers, but the American system makes it easier to go 
from hearing the number to writing it in digits, since you take the number 
implied in the first syllable and you get the number of three-zero clusters to 
the left of the last comma. BIllion has two groups to the left of the last 
comma. TRIllion has three. The other system gets much more complicated, 
requiring adding rather than counting.

My suspicion is that a Klingon would never need such large numbers because if 
the numbers start to get that big, a Klingon would just change to a unit of 
measurement more appropriate to that scale of measurement. This would explain 
why we don't have a relationship between a qelI'qam and an 'uj.

We don't typically talk about the distance between two cities in terms of feet 
or meters. We speak in terms of miles. In space, we use light-years. Klingons 
may very well just have a wider vocabulary of units of measure and counting 
groups, but a smaller vocabulary of numbers.
> > BTW- I'm not going to ask anyone to add {cheb'a'} to the new words list
> It's not in there?  Hmm, I don't see it on my NWlist but I do have it in my 
> other notes.

Care to cite a canon reference?
> DloraH, BG


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