[tlhIngan Hol] QochHa'

SuStel sustel at trimboli.name
Thu Aug 15 09:03:40 PDT 2019

On 8/15/2019 11:23 AM, Will Martin wrote:
> By defining “Agree” as {Qochbe’}, we lose the ability to casually 
> express that we neither agree nor disagree. We lose what we have for 
> pretty much every other verb in the vocabulary. The mere negative 
> becomes the antonym, and so the actual expression of the antonym 
> becomes meaningless.
> In other words, every other verb has a “be true” value of 1 (no 
> negation), 0 ({-be’}), or -1 ({-Ha’}), but this verb uniquely has only 
> the values 1, -1. There is no zero.

A long time ago I was involved in a discussion about "default" Klingon 
qualities: how in some words English uses as "default" word a word with 
a positive connotation, while the negative state is described by 
modifying the word (e.g., /happy/ vs. /unhappy/). Klingon has a lot of 
words where what we'd consider the negative connotation is the default, 
and you add a suffix to get the positive (to us) connotation.

Okrand weighed in (http://klingonska.org/canon/1998-03-02a-news.txt) and 
said that with the word *par*/dislike,/ the word *parHa'*/undo-dislike, 
misapplied-dislike/ is more common than *parbe'*/not dislike./ He 
suggested that "this may be a hint at the usual way a Klingon looks at 
things." In other words, the presence of *parHa'* but not *parbe'* in 
the dictionary may be because it's more common among Klingons, not 
because there's a positive-neutral-negative scale going on. It's normal 
for Klingons to dislike something, and fairly normal to really like 
something, but not as common for them to be tepid in their reactions.

So look at *Qoch.* Since *Qochbe'* and not *QochHa'* appears in the 
dictionary, we can speculate that this is another hint of Klingon 
attitudes. The idea goes: they consider disagreement *(Qoch) *a positive 
state, a lack of disagreement *(Qochbe') *a common neutral state, and 
strong agreement *(QochHa') *a somewhat rare and awkward state. 
Basically, Klingons don't like to go any farther than "Yeah, sure, 
whatever" *(Qochbe')* if they don't have to.

If this is the case, and it's just fairly wild speculation, then 
*Qochbe'* is not an error, it's a cultural preference against strong 
agreement. *Qochbe'* and *QochHa' *mean what you think they mean, but 
English doesn't really distinguish between these words in a quick gloss, 
so the common one came out as /agree/ and the unusual one was left out.

Or to put it another way: if a Klingon tells you he doesn't disagree 
with you *(Qochbe'),* assume it's the best you're going to get, and 
accept it.


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