tlhIngan-Hol Archive: Tue Jun 23 11:32:11 2009

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Re: Klingon orthography

Michael Roney, Jr. (

Do you have a page number? I don't recall such a Klingon letter


p.s. I haven't figured out how to copy/paste or copy/delete on this thing, hence the lack of "proper" formatting...

-Michael Roney, Jr.

--Sent from my Palm PreMichael Everson wrote:

On 23 Jun 2009, at 17:47, David Trimboli wrote:

> Michael Everson wrote:
>> Well, yours might be a vote for the status quo -- but I'd like to  
>> know
>> what Marc Okrand thinks, in particular about data integrity, sorting
>> and searching and so on.
> I know exactly what Marc Okrand thinks: the romanized transcription  
> system is inconvenient and inadequate, but we're stuck with it. (I
> believe he has said as much before.)

"Stuck with it"? In what way? Klingon grammar in the 1985 dictionary  
was inadequate, and the second edition of the dictionary in 1992  
provided an addendum of emendations to that grammar, and as you know  
vocabulary items have been regularly added from then to now.

(Oh, I forgot, in "Klingon for the Galactic Traveler" Okrand  
introduced "U" for /Ê?/ alongside "u". So he's already altered the  
orthography once!)

> Marc has never been particularly computer-savvy, so I doubt he's  
> given it much thought.

But now that we are in a world of Unicode, with all computer platforms  
conforming to the same character set technology (where U and u and Q  
and q are not distinguished and can be confused) it is not  
unreasonable to ask him to think about these things now.

> If you spoke to him about it, he'd say yep, that's a problem, but  
> there's not much he can do about it.

Of course he can! He could, for instance, implement a spelling reform  
and publish a third edition of his dictionary. Heck, I'd be happy to  
typeset it for him.

> Even if you hit upon a lovely transcription orthography, how will  
> you get Paramount to use it or license it whenever someone produces an
> "official" product? (Consider, for instance, the Bird of Prey poster.)

It's hard to imagine that they are wedded to the 1985 orthography.  
Indeed if there were a change, it could lead to would be a whole new  
range of products. But I imagine it must be for Marc Okrand to  
consider the benefits of a revised orthography for the long-term good  
of the language and its community.

In none of this do I mean the least bit of disrespect to Marc Okrand  
or his work. I trust that is clear.

Michael Everson *

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