tlhIngan-Hol Archive: Sat May 18 15:26:05 2002

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Re: What does the numbers in the stardate stand for?

> how about something like [ngu'bogh per] ("identifying label")  for email 
> signature?
> lay'tel SIvten

> We have Klingon words for "message" and "area beneath", making it easy to
> describe an email .signature as something like {bIng QInHom} in appropriate
> context.  If that's what you want to say, anyway.

I would frown on these solutions.  The first is a classic case of a
"hindsight word", to use Seqram's very appropriate term.  If you already
know that you're talking about a .sig, then yes, you can see how
ngu'bogh per would fit.  But if out of the blue, I sent out a message
like this:

tInqu'bogh ngu'bogh permey vIparHa'.  pIjHa' tInqu'nIS 'ej motlh Dal.
not vIlaD.

You'd *never* figure out what I was talking about.

The second is better, but in the end it's still a description, not a
term.  It still requires the reader to figure out what you're talking
about.  Sometimes it's really just better to acknowledge "we don't
have a word for that" and move on.  For instance, if I wanted to
talk about my car's clutch, I certainly *could* come up with some
descriptive phrase-- but it would be half a paragraph long, cumbersome,
and be much more of a pain in the ass for the reader to decode than
it's really worth.  It would be *far* better to just say something
like:  Qapchu'be'taH DujwIj "clutch"; vItI'nISmoH.  It's no different
than the way that, in English, we don't say "folded corn tortilla with
meat and cheese and lettuce inside", we just say "taco".

> >rorqu' ghaH.  'ar ror?  QammeH pIvchem chenmoHwI' lo'nIS ghaH!
> >
> >"He's very fat.  How fat?  In order to stand up, he has to use a
> > warp field generator!"
> One dust-speck-sized vocabulary nit:  given the existence of the phrase
> {HoS lIngwI'} for "generator", I'd have used {pIvchem lIngwI'} instead of
> {pIvchem chenmoHwI'}.  More canonically, the Bird of Prey poster has a
> label for {pIvghor lIngwI'} "Warp Generator", though it's referring to a
> warp drive rather than just any old warp field.

I could go either way on this one.  On the pro side, there is something
to be said for being consistent with HoS lIngwI' and pIvghor lIngwI'.
On the other hand, at least in my own mind, "energy" and "warp drive"
are things that just need to be produced, where as a warp field, being
a field (I'm thinking of it being somewhat akin to a magnetic field),
really does need to be whipped up out of thin air, as it were, and I
think chenmoH captures that better.

> One Gibraltar-sized grammar nit:  I don't believe there's ANY justification
> for using {'ar} adverbially the way you did.

It is certainly a legitimate complaint, although I dispute that it's
Gibralter-sized.  I stand by it, though, at least in informal
speech. Especially when you consider that even the *English* here
isn't a full, properly formed sentence.  It's true that, by the
letter of the law, we don't have the right to do this.  On the other
hand, I think any Klingon speaker would *instantly* understand what
you're saying, and the size of the hoops you'd have to jump through
in order to recast the sentence to avoid doing this would be, well,
Gibralter-sized.  I'd be curious to see your own proposed solution
of how to say "How fat is he?" if you're going to scorn 'ar ror?

I'd certainly be the first to agree that this is one we really ought to
ask Okrand about.


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