tlhIngan-Hol Archive: Mon Aug 17 06:51:11 2009

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RE: Query on -choHmoHwI'

Steven Boozer (

Mark J. Reed:
>>I see you're still  using {lamHa'}.  So why not {Say'}?
>Before my first email I was personally using {Say'} but as I started
>thinking about what I wanted to ask I realised that we had canon use of
>{lamHa'} for "clean" in the sense of removing dirt
>*TKD p170: Where can I get my shoes cleaned? - nuqDaq waqwIj
>I realise that doesn't mean it's right for teeth but as there appears to me
>to be a predisposition against Klingons cleaning for the sake of it. The aim
>of what I am doing when cleening my teeth is to remove as much dirt as I can
>and I believe that follows the same idea regarding cleaning shoes.
>So looking at it like that I thought I might say:
>   Say' Ho'Du'wIj  - for "my teeth are clean."
>   Ho'Du'wIj vIlamHa'choHmoH -  for "I clean my teeth."
>I tried to think about what's the difference between be clean and be undirty... 
>So applying that to undirty or clean I thought if my intention is to remove
>dirt then {lamHa'} was appropriate and if commenting on the resultant level
>of cleanliness then {Say'} was appropriate.

Here's what we have in canon:

{lam}  dirt (n.)

{lam}  be dirty (v.)

{lamHa'choHmoH}  get something cleaned (v.)

 - nuqDaq waqwIj vIlamHa'choHmoH 
   Where can I get my shoes cleaned? TKD

{Say'}  be clean (v.)

{Say'moH}  wash (v.)

 - DaH jIbwIj vISay'nISmoH 
   I must wash my hair now. PK

 - yoHbogh matlhbogh je SuvwI' Say'moHchu' may' 'Iw 
   The blood of battle washes clean the warrior brave and true. (Anthem)

{Say'qu'moH}  sterilize (v.)

FWIW note that Okrand glossed {Say'moH} as "wash" and not "clean" which, together with the two example sentences, implies (to me at least) the use of water or some other liquid (e.g. blood).  {lamHa'choHmoH} would thus mean to "de-dirt(y)" -- e.g. scraping the mud off your shoes, wiping the blood from your blade, cleaning your gun, etc.  

Perhaps {Say'moH} refers to a particular method of cleaning (e.g. with liquid) or implies a greater level of cleanliness.  Note that {Say'qu'moH} "sterilize" is an even greater level of clean.

>To that end regarding hygienist and toothbrush discussed earlier, maybe
>{Say'choHmoHwI'} would  describe a Hygienist and lamHa'choHmoHwI' a
>toothbrush (or similar impliment).

Considering that a dental hygienist scrapes the plaque off your teeth, {lamHa'choHmoH} seems appropriate.

Canon Master of the Klingons

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