tlhIngan-Hol Archive: Tue Jun 23 16:30:25 2009

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Re: Klingon orthography

Michael Everson (

On 23 Jun 2009, at 22:57, David Trimboli wrote:

>> An author can write whatever books he wants. Who owns the word
>> "Qapla'"? Okrand? Paramount? I know that Paramount owns Klingons.
>> Language is something else.
> Certainly. And even though that battle has not yet been brought to
> court, I believe that a language cannot be owned.
> However, any such book could not be called THE KLINGON DICTIONARY, or
> refer to Klingons, as Paramount owns the trademark. That makes any
> non-licensed publication extremely unlikely.

One would not attempt to take a new book to publication without  
permission and licence to do so. Paramount does support Star Trek  
novels and so on, however. They could refuse permission, but I would  
think that unlikely.

>> Paramount didn't write the Klingon Dictionary. Okrand did. Maybe they
>> paid him to. Maybe he did it on his own and they get a cut. I don't
>> know what the arrangements were. It was most likely Simon and  
>> Schuster
>> ponied up to publish the actual book. Or?
> Okrand was paid to do it. He had invented part of the language for  

Knew that, of course.

> and I believe they asked him to make a whole book out of it. I  
> imagine Simon and Schuster were licensed by Paramount to publish the  
> book.

Licensed, yes. All I was saying was that if Simon and Schuster were  
unwilling to risk a third edition another publisher might not be  
unwilling. In any case Paramount would have to approve.

>> I can hardly imagine Paramount forbidding a publication if it didn't
>> cost them anything and if the usual arrangements were made.
> "The usual arrangements" would have to be "be licensed to do it," and
> that's not so easy with Paramount.

"Would you mind if we put out a new edition of TKD? The old publishers  
aren't interested, but we are". Would Paramount say no?

> The publisher would have to see a profit in it, and without some new  
> film or TV inspiration, I don't see
> how it could be considered profitable.

Come on, I publish in Cornish. ;-)

> Remember, the second edition of TKD came out after the beginning of  
> the
> wildly successful STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION. There was a good
> reason to expect profits.

There's "breaking even" and there's earning enough to buy a yacht.

>> So that's not a reason not to at least look at good vs. bad options
>> for spelling reform.
> I didn't say it was. I simply point out the various hurdles you'd have
> to go over to get it done (and we haven't even mentioned the debate of
> WHICH changes would be acceptable by whom).

yajchu'. The debate could be very interesting however.

I'm not surprised to find a lot of resistance. Nobody likes spelling  

Michael Everson *

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