tlhIngan-Hol Archive: Wed Mar 13 10:46:26 2002

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Re: jIH vIchuHlu' - Words mentioned earlier but not in the

> lab SoberAlien
> >I asked about the word "vetted" earlier, and got definitions from qe'San, 
> >who is from the UK, and Qov, who is from Canada, who both essentially said 
> >it meant "authorize". I'm American, and I had asked a couple other 
> >Americans about the word -- one didn't know what it meant, and the other 
> >thought it simply meant "examine". If I'm not mistaken, ghunchu'wI' is 
> >American too.
> I didn't mean to define it as authorize.  I suppose by following up to that 
> definition with an origin I appeared to second it.  I would say that it 
> means, "examine for defects" or "examine to verify something is as 
> represented."
For me, it is not enough to have someone tell me, "Here's a list of new words. 
Okrand said they were okay." In this case, I looked at the list and saw that 
the definitions are done in a style that doesn't fit Okrand's. Now I have words 
whose definitions will not be consistent with anything else in the New Words 
List and I know by looking at the definitions that if Okrand had anything to do 
with it, it was heavily edited AFTER he did his initial work, and I know that I 
lack the authority to figure out what Okrand originally wanted that definition 
to be.

Those who were around back when Okrand was on MSN remember how angry we all got 
when we found out that the strange supplemental definitions to Okrand's word 
list that didn't seem quite consistent with his style of definition were 
actually written by MSN editors without consulting Okrand about it, even though 
they were presented as if they were "from Okrand". They just made stuff up 
because they stupidly thought it would make things clearer, not realizing that 
they were basically changing the meaning of the words without bothering to 
check back with Okrand to see if they got it right. 

It is not enough for me to have Okrand "okay" a list of words. Okrand has to 
have authored the words. The word and the definition are a matched set, like an 
ID and a password. Giving me just one is not enough. I need both. I need a word 
that is consistent with what Klingon words are like and I need a definition 
that is consistent with what Okrand's word definitions are like. I will make up 
definitions when Okrand tosses a word into the middle of text, as he often did 
in KGT or other texts like the recent HolQeD article on bird names.

I always prefer to just use his definitions, but when all I have is a word 
written in a context that suggests a definition, I write the definition and 
cite the original text so others can check me on this. That process played 
itself out with the word {qa'rol}, since the original text suggested that it 
was an extremely large, black bird, but further reflection made us realize that 
the color wasn't really specified in the text, so I removed the word "black" 
from the definition.

The New Words List is not a collection of artifacts. It is a dictionary. People 
have to use it when they are trying to speak the language. Okrand has had a 
consistent style of defining his words which carefully balances the degree of 
specificity or versatility of meaning. Arguably, he errs toward versatility and 
then makes definitions more specific through canon usage, but the important 
thing is that as much as possible, I try to represent the words as accurately 
as possible to Okrand's intended usage more than to any interpretation I choose 
to inject.

By necessity, from time to time, I have to interpret things, as I did with 
{qa'rol}. I don't always get it right, but then neither would anyone else, 
except maybe Okrand, but then, he isn't doing this, now is he? If he wanted 
more control over the list, I'd be delighted if he had the URL and password to 
update the list himself. I try to represent him and his interests as accurately 
as I can.

In this case, Okrand gave spellings for the words. He did not have anything to 
do with the definitions. That makes this list of words useless for the New 
Words List. I'm considering using Stovokor because we can glean the meaning 
from other sources, and it's pretty clear that Okrand and this book author both 
agreed on what they were talking about when Okrand gave him the spelling. The 
rest of it is not really useful.

If anyone has a problem with my approach to this, I'm quite willing to talk 
about it.


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