tlhIngan-Hol Archive: Wed Jun 24 21:36:30 2009

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Re: Klingon orthography

Doq (

On Jun 23, 2009, at 5:32 PM, Michael Everson wrote:

> I can hardly imagine Paramount forbidding a publication if it didn't
> cost them anything and if the usual arrangements were made.
> So that's not a reason not to at least look at good vs. bad options
> for spelling reform.
> Michael Everson *

Tell that to Hetaq, author of "Secret Fighting Arts of The Warrior  
Race". He submitted it for publication by Simon & Schuster. They  
rejected it. He tried to get approval several ways. They ignored him.  
He published it independently, with a footnote on the cover: "This  
book was not prepared, approved, licensed, or endorsed by any entity  
involved in creating or producing the Star Trek television series and  
films." He thought that would take care of it.

It didn't.

He was successfully sued with a cease and desist order to shut down  
all publication of the book. He had a nice book burning party, I'm told.

So far as I know, it's the only banned book I've ever owned.

As for this quite interesting discussion on spelling and orthography,  
the main argument against change is that the current system simply  
works. The entire population of Klingon speakers can already read it.  
They've worked with it for decades without significant problems, and  
it works well on Macs, PCs and Unix based computers on normal  
keyboards with no training necessary beyond a typical high school  
typing class, or even independently developed hunt and peck typing  

I feel quite certain that I can type an e-mail message using the  
current system several times faster than you could type the same  
message with your system. Since most Klingon communication occurs via  
e-mail, this is a big deal.

The argument about upper and lower case is particularly weak. If a mix  
of case is typographically necessary in order to relieve the eye  
stress of viewing a single case... well, a normal Klingon sentence in  
the current system already provides more variety of upper and lower  
case than English does, since most words have both upper and lower  
case in them, while only one or two words in your average English  
sentence use uppercase. As for the need to start every sentence with  
an uppercase letter, I have several friends who never do that in  
English. It's a little annoying, but I get used to it.

Which brings me to the simplest solution to dealing with Okrand's  
notation of Okrand's language:

Get used to it.


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