tlhIngan-Hol Archive: Wed Jun 24 04:28:42 2009

Back to archive top level

To this year's listing

[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next]

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

Michael Everson (

On 24 Jun 2009, at 12:05, ghunchu'wI' wrote:

> On Jun 24, 2009, at 5:04 AM, Michael Roney, Jr. wrote:
>> I want to respect case distinctions. I'd be very happy if Klingon  
>> orthography could write personal names like Qugh, Ghawran, Lursa',  
>> Be'etor, Qeng, Viqsis, Mogh, Hus, and 'Atrom (KGT p. 197) with  
>> capital letters.
> It sounds like you want to *make* case distinctions for your own  
> purposes, not respect them where they already exist.  Maybe your
> meaning of the word "respect" differs from mine?

I don't think there is much merit in keeping Klingon caseless.  
Coupling this with the Q/q problem,

> Your capitalization of that last name as 'Atrom suggests that your  
> understanding of Klingon orthography is faulty.

I don't believe that your assessment is correct. In most orthographies  
which use an apostrophe as a glottal stop, it is the following letter  
which cases when capitalization is applied. A description of an  
analogous situation (though the character representing the glottal is  
not the apostrophe) can be seen at

Of course one could devise a big fat capital apostrophe, but that  
would be a new character that would have to be added to the standard.

> Regardless of your wider experience and credentials, and despite  
> your definite and acknowledged contributions to the Klingon-speaking  
> community, you haven't demonstrated that you know enough about  
> actually *using* Klingon to make appropriate suggestions for  
> changing it.

Yes, you wrote to me privately this morning to criticize the poem I  
wrote in 1988 (without indicating any particular errors, just saying  
it was substandard). Whether my knowledge of Klingon grammar is any  
good is, however, orthogonal to an understanding I might have of  
orthographic forms relating to sounds used in one or more dialects of  

Looks to me as though you are playing the elitist insider card to  
bolster your own view that nothing need be changed. People are always  
reluctant to entertain spelling reform, but for my part I haven't  
found any of your arguments that "everything is fine" to be very  

Michael Everson *

Back to archive top level