tlhIngan-Hol Archive: Wed Jun 24 10:49:35 2009

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Re: Klingon orthography

Michael Everson (

On 24 Jun 2009, at 17:49, ghunchu'wI' 'utlh wrote:

> On Wed, Jun 24, 2009 at 12:05 PM, Michael Everson < 
> >wrote:
>>> Current case issues are a feature, not a bug.
>> They are a problem for data integrity. There is no question of this.
> You keep saying this, and you keep repeating this, but such  
> repetition is not convincing.

Nor is your gainsaying.

> The only explanation you give is that the distinction between {q}  
> and {Q} can be lost if you apply a case transformation.

Incorrect. I gave other explanations. I also indicate that searching  
may not be reliable because of the canonical equivalence of the two  
characters. Since they are phonemic, it should be clear that searches  
which DO reliable yield different results are better than searches  
which do not. If X were used instead of Q, then it would be easy to  
search for words containing "qeb" 'squeeze a windbag instrument' and  
"Xeb" 'ponytail holder'.

Further, I also indicate that sorting operations are made more complex  
if you attempt to treat a casing pair as two separate entities.

Moreover, I outlined the political benefits of taking this data issue  
seriously in terms of an eventual re-try at encoding pIqaD.

And I discussed some advantages (evident at least to some here, I have  
seen) of being able to enjoy a wider range of typographic options if  
Latin casing conventions can be employed

Your suggestion that I have given one explanation only is  
disingenuous. I don't think your arguments are going very well, so  
you've tried to disparage my attempt at dialogue because I may not  
know as much Klingon as you do, even to the point of suggesting that  
if I would write 'Atrom my "understanding of Klingon orthography" must  
be "faulty" when in fact languages which do case personal names next  
to a glottal do so exactly as I indicated.

Come on.

> You dismiss other lossy transformations because they're harder to do  
> "accidentally".

I dismiss them because the cause of them is not the inherent and  
immutable canonical equivalence of the characters.

> You don't seem to acknowledge that case transformations can be  
> similarly lossy in other languages, but the example you presented  
> was a
> typical one where capitalization *does* matter: God vs. god.

Yes, and May and may. But these examples in English are very  
infrequent (and one expects them to interfile in sorting, for  
instance), whilst in the Standard Latin orthography for Klingon, it  
pervades the entire system.

> Anecdotally, I've never encountered a case-transforming accident,  
> but I have seen several instances of text being mangled beyond  
> repair by someone trying to do a global search and replace of a  
> misspelled word.

Haven't we all.

> I strongly question the contention that the q/Q pair presents a  
> special "data integrity" problem. If your standard of "problem"  
> involves Google's search treatment, I think the existence of the  
> apostrophe as a consonant is a worse offender.

The apostrophe presents several problems but at LEAST one of them is  
not "it is equivalent to another character you want to use in the same  

Michael Everson *

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