[tlhIngan Hol] spaces in nouns

SuStel sustel at trimboli.name
Thu Aug 30 07:40:56 PDT 2018

On 8/30/2018 10:05 AM, Lieven L. Litaer wrote:
> This topic is returning very often, and Okrand seems to be "not at all 
> picky about that." (email to the mailing list from loghaD, 11/16/14)

The creator of the language hardly needs to worry about whether words he 
can make up at the drop of a hat need to have spaces in them.

Okrand is also more concerned with spoken Klingon than written. His 
transcription system is just a description of pronunciation, and you 
don't usually pronounce spaces between words. So when pronounced, 
*HoDlupDujHomquS* is identical to *HoD lupDujHom quS*/chair of the 
captain's shuttlecraft./

But that doesn't make the long constructions single words. That phrase, 
however it's pronounced, consists of three words. If you want to specify 
that you meant the chair of the captain's /red/ shuttlecraft, you can 
just stick another word in there, whether you originally thought of the 
phrase as one word or three: *HoD lupDujHom Doq quS.* If 
*HoDlupDujHomquS* were really one word, you couldn't do that.

Spaces are just punctuation. Okrand has never been concerned with 
punctuation. Punctuation is part of a writing system, and we know very 
little about the Klingon writing system, so we know very little about 
their punctuation. How we punctuate in a transcription system that has 
nothing to do with any actual Klingon writing system should be largely 

However, if everyone feels justified in making a big stink about how you 
have to capitalize all the letters that Okrand capitalizes, even though 
the system looks ridiculous, I don't see what leg you have to stand on 
to want to eliminate the spaces that Okrand uses consistently throughout 
his transcription system. Basically, if we are to start eliminating 
spaces because we feel like it, then we should also be able to eliminate 
the silly capitalization of the transcription system. There's certainly 
enough call to do so.


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