tlhIngan-Hol Archive: Sat May 18 16:29:59 2002

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"How fat is he?"

['ar ror?]

ja' Krankor:
>...It's true that, by the
>letter of the law, we don't have the right to do this.

When you're acting as BG, it's customary to be *very* conservative in what
you present.  I'd not have mentioned it openly had you not been answering a

>On the other
>hand, I think any Klingon speaker would *instantly* understand what
>you're saying,...

I'd expect most to take substantially longer than "instantly".   I actually
puzzled over it for half a minute before realizing that you hadn't misused
{ror} as a noun while using {'ar} as if it were a verb.  It's only because
I know your history of "liberal" usage that I figured out your real intent.

I'd also assert that they'd eventually understand what you were *trying* to
say, without necessarily agreeing that it's what you *did* say.

>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,

In the general case, I think the hoop size is pretty small.  Here's a
formulaic way to recast such a sentence:

  How Q is he? -> How much Q-ingness has he? -> Q-taHghach 'ar ghaj?

Formulaic recasting is rarely optimal, but it's not a huge task.

>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 *immediately* came up with what I think is the "right" way to translate
it in the context you provided:

  cheb 'ar ngI'?
  How much does he weigh?

In other contexts, {'uj 'ar juch} or {porgh tlhagh 'ar SIQ}, etc.

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

Asking questions about degrees of quality is definitely a weak spot in the
grammar as we know it.

-- ghunchu'wI'

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