tlhIngan-Hol Archive: Tue Jun 23 08:17:24 2009

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Re: Klingon orthography (was: Okrand at qep'a')

Michael Everson (

On 23 Jun 2009, at 15:38, Matthew Hamby wrote:

> I for one agree with Michael.  I don't see it at all as being an  
> issue of whether or not tlhIngan Hol will survive.  There doesn't  
> seem to be any question about that.  It's a problem related to  
> legibility and data integrity.  When MO created the writing system,  
> such things as auto-correcting Word processors and the internet  
> weren't issues like they are now.  The supposition that data might  
> get pushed through an all caps filter is not unreasonable.  On the  
> contrary.  In this day and age, it's unlikely that data wouldn't, at  
> some point in its life span, at least get pushed through a filter  
> that would regularize the cases to English (or some other)  
> standard.  That would make the text unreadable.  Add to that the  
> issues of searchability and storage, I think it would be wise to  
> look seriously at an orthography reform.
> In choosing a new orthography, I also have some knowledge of PUA  
> ranges, and agree that they should be completely avoided.  If you  
> use PUA, at some point there will be sorrow.

I imagine this topic has arisen before from time to time. (Has it?) I  
would not be surprised if some people who don't know me might think of  
me as some secondary-school French student approaching the Académie  
Française and saying "Hey guys! I have a great idea! I know you've  
been using the ç thingy for centuries, but you should really do it my  

I have, however, been around a while. In 1988 (oh my gods was it  
really that long ago) I wrote a poem'ojtaH-nuqvaD.html 
  and I did some work translating some Metallica and the North Wind  
and the Sun. Mark might remember the Tengwar mode for Klingon...

And then, of course, there was pIqaD. There was this 
  in 1996 (you are all very welcome) and this 
  in 1997 (ghuy'cha'), and oh yes I'm still watching pIqaD unfold.  
Biding my time for Qapla' jaj. In the meantime I have been doing this 
  which keeps me busy. But the problems with 1985 Klingon orthography  
bother me from time to time, and the more data that gets created the  
worse the implications are, both for Klingon in Romanization and for a  
future for pIqaD.

Even now, the conflation of q and Q causes problems for  
transliteration between PUA pIqaD and Latin orthography.

Some may not wish to entertain this topic, but I'd like to explore the  
options anyway. If there *were* to be a reform (even an optional one),  
what would be the best principles to follow, and what would be the  
best choices to make?

Michael Everson *

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