[tlhIngan Hol] lawn mower

SuStel sustel at trimboli.name
Wed Jul 27 08:53:03 PDT 2016

On 7/27/2016 11:36 AM, Ed Bailey wrote:
> jatlh SuStel
> *weq* doesn't mean /hit an object which just happens to be a 
> percussion instrument, whether or not the hitting is intended to make 
> music./ If a car were to ram into a drum, that would not be *weq,* but 
> it certainly would be a kind of hit.
> If you're rhythmically slapping your knees, or even just once when 
> timed for audible effect, that's *weq.* If you just happen to hit your 
> knees once at random, that's not *weq.*
> I agree with you totally on what type of action constitutes {weq}. But 
> you're correcting me for something I didn't say. I just pointed out 
> the assumptions implicit in your reasoning, namely (1) the 
> disambiguator limits the object of {weq} to instruments, and (2) 
> Klingons consider the knees to be instruments when used in a like 
> manner to drums. These strike me as the sort of literal thinking that 
> is so useful in computer science, and the second purports to know what 
> Klingons would think. jaS jIQub. SorHa' tlhIngan net Sov. <qIvDu' weq> 
> jatlhtaHvIS tlhIngan, chaq loQ SorHa'.

I'm not saying that KLINGONS consider knees slapped to make music to be 
percussion instruments, I'm telling you that they ARE percussion 
instruments. There's no cultural or subjective evaluation here.

> jIjatlh
> There's no evidence in Star Trek of Klingon lawns. Even among humans, 
> it's something of a local fad. Klingons would probably find 
> lawn-keeping to be bizarre behavior. In that case, they might well 
> speak metaphorically (and mockingly) of giving the grass field a haircut.
> jatlh SuStel
> You're playing the "a Klingon would" game again.
> Many humans and possibly all aliens would consider it bizarre 
> behavior, but I did say "probably" and "might well." How much 
> subjunctive padding do you require?

Infinite. Speculation on whether Klingons have lawns is one thing; 
speculation on Klingon grammar based on speculation about Klingon 
whether Klingons have lawns is quite another. Let's draw conclusions 
based on canon and linguistics, not our completely baseless estimate of 
Klingon horticultural interest. We know precisely two things: there is a 
grass-like Klingon plant called *magh,* and Klingons—or at least 
Maltz—have a phrase for//a field of the stuff/:/ *magh yotlh.*

Does *magh* grow as tall as grass? We don't know. Do Klingons ever 
cultivate it for any reason whatsoever? We don't know. Do Klingons ever 
have to maintain it or remove it? We don't know. Do Klingons have 
opinions about all the lawns they've seen on Human planets or in 
pictures? We don't know.

So to declare that Klingons "probably" find the idea of lawn maintenance 
bizarre is based on a whole lot of we-don't-knows, as is the idea of 
using the verb for barbering to refer to cutting *magh* short.


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