tlhIngan-Hol Archive: Wed Jun 03 12:53:40 2009

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RE: chay' "Get out of the way!" ra'lu'?

Steven Boozer (

Fiat Knox:
>> yIDev pagh yItlha' pagh HIwaQ 'e' yImev!
> Also, I'm not sure {pagh} "or else, either/or" works with three 
> clauses.  All canon examples have only two clauses, usually opposites 
> (e.g. eat vs. drink, VERB vs. VERB{be'}, VERB vs. VERB{Ha'}).  I would 
> drop the first {pagh}:

>Fiat Knox wrote:
>> I also recall "pung ghap HoS," "Mercy or power," where "ghap" is
>> "exclusive OR." Mercy and power are mutually incompatible, in this
>> sense.
>> In my sentence, the sentence-joining "exclusive or" preposition
>> "pagh" was required to convey that same sense of mutual exclusivity.
>> One is either leading, or following me; one cannot just stand there
>> and be in the speaker's way. Well, one could, if one were willing to
>> enjoy getting swiftly knocked down.

>The objection wasn't to your choice of words, it was to your placement
>of the conjunctions.  Instead of
>	<phrase> pagh <phrase> pagh <phrase>
>the suggestion was to use
>	<phrase>, <phrase>, pagh <phrase>
>because we've seen things like this before.
>However, I would call that a stylistic suggestion, not anything we know
>definitively about the grammar.

Actually my objection wasn't to the placement of conjunctions in general, but the placement/use of {pagh} "or else, either/or" specifically, which (to me) implies a choice between only two options:  either/or.  Using it with three options seemed odd... rather like speakers who misuse "on the other hand".  E.g.:

   I could be right. On the other hand SuStel could be right.  
   And on the other hand Fiat Knox could also be right!

Thus implying three hands!  

Canon Master of the Klingons

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