[tlhIngan Hol] vIlle' pun

Steven Boozer sboozer at uchicago.edu
Tue May 2 07:42:05 PDT 2017

> So is there an etymological relationship between {vIl} (n.) and
> {vIlle'} or not? It seems natural to interpret {vIlle'} as {vIl le'},
> a special {vIl}, but maybe they're independent words and the
> resemblance is a coincidence.
Anthony Appleyard wrote:
>> Unless Marc Okrand back-formed {vil} (noun) from {ville'}
> Or the other way around.
>    [....]
> In-universe, if a {vIlle'} is a special {vIl}, then perhaps that gives us
> some insight into the meaning of {vIl}: someone (or something) who's
> always following you around, or just happens to show up wherever you are,
> but not for any special reason (like a minion would).

(ghunchu'wI', 7/26/2009):  The noun {vIl} is hard to define. Maltz had given a description of something which was immediately recognized as a speed bump by everyone present, but it was apparently intended not as an actual definition but as an example of something which is "just there". There is obviously an etymological relationship with {vIlle'}, which is currently the best clue we have to its true meaning. Consider someone who keeps showing up when you go places. This person doesn't necessarily have any particular importance to what you're doing, and it wouldn't matter to you at all if he or she weren't present, but the person is "just there". That would be a {vIl}. It also can describe someone who hangs around, ready to help out, whether or not you need anyone to help you. Again, it wouldn't make any difference to you if the person weren't there. Here is a direct quote from Marc Okrand: "A {vIlle'}, on the other hand, is definitely someone you want to have around--a follower, disciple, fan, admirer, minion." (Groupie and entourage were suggested by those present at the time, but Marc didn't think they fit.)

(ghunchu'wI', 7/27/2009):  {vIl} strikes me more as referring to someone or something you keep noticing, rather than something or someone you would intentionally look for. When I asked Marc Okrand whether sidekick would be an appropriate term, he said no, and gave this example: "It would apply to this woman I know who seems to show up (as an audience member or an usher or something) at every play I go to. I don't know why she's always there, but it's weird.

tlhIngan ghantoH pIn'a'
Ca'Non Master of the Klingons

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