[tlhIngan Hol] Is the given meaning definite ?

Steven Boozer sboozer at uchicago.edu
Fri Mar 8 06:37:46 PST 2019

IIRC (Say'qu'moH} "sterilize" originated in the words Okrand proved in 1990 for "veS QonoS" (the newsletter of Mortas-Te-Kaase, a defunct Klingon fan club).  A few of these were later used in CK and the entire list was reprinted by permission of both Okrand and the club in HolQeD 1.3.  

There were, inter alia, several new medical words to add to those few found in TKD:

Hergh QaywI'  	pneumatic hypo (medical device) (n)
HerghwI'  	pneumatic hypo (medical device) (n)
muvwI'  	suture (n) 
roSHa'moH  	paralyze (v)
tuj muvwI'  	thermo-suture (n)
'uD Haqtaj  	laser scalpel (n)
'uD'a'  		laser (n)

In the medical/surgical context "sterilize" is an appropriate translation.  In other contexts - say a drill instructor tells a recruit to swab the deck so clean that you could eat off it - "scrub" would also work.  

Okrand has used {Say'moHchu'} himself:

  yoHbogh matlhbogh je SuvwI' Say'moHchu' may' 'Iw 
  The blood of battle washes clean the warrior brave and true. (Anthem)

Ca'Non Master of the Klingons

-----Original Message-----
From: Jeffrey Clark

I never noticed Say’qu’moH… I’d have thought sterilise would be Say’moHchu’.

> On Mar 8, 2019, at 09:00, mayqel qunen'oS <mihkoun at gmail.com> wrote:
> To illustrate my obscure point, I will use the verb Say'qu'moH and an 
> ancient cat.
> So, lets say we just spent a fortune to acquire an ancient cat, and 
> the first thing we do is to make it very clean..
> {vIghro' tIQ wIje'ta'bogh wISay'qu'moH} we make the ancient cat which 
> we have bought very clean
> Right ?
> But the problem is, that Say'qu'moH has been given as "to sterilize".
> So, although the klingon says "we make the cat very clean", the Ca'NoN 
> translation says "we sterilize the cat".
> And because I can *feel* someone ready to say that "to sterilize" is 
> to "make something very clean", I will rush to say YOU ARE WRONG !!!
> To sterilize means to make something germ-free. Making something very 
> clean, means making it very clean.. To be sterile is to be very clean, 
> to be very clean isn't to be sterile.
> So, the question is: Can we use Say'qu'moH to mean what it actually 
> means i.e. "to make something very clean", or since it has been given 
> as "to sterilize", it can only mean "sterilize" ?

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