tlhIngan-Hol Archive: Tue Mar 26 11:58:01 2002

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Re: KLBC: {-be'}

> Much of what you call 'bad grammar' is actually the process of a living 
> language changing over time (there go my descriptivist tendencies again).  

I remember as a small child listening to one of my less educated, distant 
relatives sincerely berate his wife with, "Woman, [snort, snort] you ain't got 
no good English!"

I'm sure he's not the first person who ever said, "You ain't got no...". I'm 
also certain that he won't be the last. I'm sure it has been said many 
thousands of times by many thousands of people. Meanwhile, it's still bad 
grammar and always will be. It's not just The Future revealing itself to the 
stodgy, stubborn clingers to arbitrary rules.

It is just the way stupid people talk.

Now, some violations of earlier tenets of grammar do eventually evolve to be 
the way people talk in the future, but overall, most bad grammar is just the 
way stupid people talk. If you want to be one of the people who now speaks the 
way stupid people speak in the blind hope that someday the rest of the world 
will talk just like you do, and you'll be avante guard, go for it.

Just realize that avante guard is not avante guard if nobody ever follows you. 
A bold scout venturing where no one has gone before who is never followed by 
the masses quickly becomes just some guy hopelessly lost in the woods.

> But then again, Klingon is a tightly controlled artificial language, so it 
> probably does have a relatively fixed grammar (as opposed to living 
> languages).  The changes MO comes out with are additions, not alterations.  

It's more interesting than that. Some of the quirks of the grammar come out of 
Okrand's mind (like comparatives), while others (just about all uses of {neH}) 
are the result of backfits, making valid that which was a mistake made in a 
movie, and others are backfits to cover the butts of his friends who went 
beyond their authority (Lawrence's {yejHaD}, Krankor's prefix trick, one of my 
blunders putting the wrong definition to a word in the Annotated Klingon 
Dictionary I gave Okrand, which he later made valid by posting that same wrong 
definition now made right in KGT, or Paramount Hol words, like {parmaqqay} or 
Mark Shoulson and peHruS's {'I'}) have interesting histories.

> On the other hand, it was designed to look and feel like a natural, living 
> language, which is part of the reason MO came up with some examples of the 
> 'bad grammar' we so often see in such languages.  In fact, what is 
> acceptable in terms of Klingon grammar varies according to social position 
> and age - exactly the kind of thing we see in English with 'you and I'/'you 
> and me'.
Don't forget level of eduction and intelligence. Doojvetz oh nook?


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