[tlhIngan Hol] Klingon Word of the Day: luS

SuStel sustel at trimboli.name
Fri May 24 06:35:52 PDT 2019

On 5/24/2019 3:17 AM, Lieven L. Litaer wrote:
> Am 24.05.2019 um 02:53 schrieb SuStel:
>> I don't see how this leaves the apostrophe (U+0027) an acceptable
>> character to use.
> Oh, I think you misunderstood me here. In my first messages I wrote
> >> You have weird apostrophes there.
> >> I suggest simple ' or fancy ’, but never ‘.
> This means I suggest U+0027 and U+2019, but never U+2018. It's only this
> last one I say you should not use.

Yes, I got that. What I'm saying is that your arguments about Okrand's 
usage and typographic beauty mean that you should NOT recommend U+0027, 
yet you do.

>> Is there an acceptable typeface for Klingon? A recommended line spacing?
>> Do bullets have to be triangles? How far down the typography hole do we
> Now you are the one going cynical again.

I'm not being cynical; I'm trying to illustrate taking a standard and 
claiming it's an objectively true rule. Some people do recommend serif 
over sans serif typefaces, but that's for the ability to distinguish I 
from l, not because any particular typeface is more correct than 
another. Of course no one would claim that any particular line spacing 
is necessary, but it's true that line spacings of 0.5 or 20 spaces per 
line would be problematical for practical reasons. I can easily imagine 
someone claiming, because Klingons tend to use triangles in their 
graphics, that Klingon punctuation like bullets should be triangular.

None of these are necessary to the Klingon language, and none of them 
would be advocated by *pIqaD*-using Klingons, who wouldn't care because 
it's not their writing system. So what makes punctuation any different? 
Outside of the IPA, there is no universal, standard symbol for a glottal 
stop, so which character we choose to represent it is pretty much arbitrary.

See Wikipedia on writing glottal stops 
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glottal_stop#Writing>, which lists a 
whole lot of languages that use a whole lot of different symbols for the 
glottal stop: apostrophe, reversed apostrophe, the letter /k,/ the 
letter /q,/ aleph, palochka, heng, double apostrophe, sokuon, hyphen, 
circumflex accent, grave accent, IPA ʔ, and the numeral /7./ There is no 
single correct symbol for writing glottal stops.

>> aesthetically please choice for the *qaghwI'.* I just don't see any
>> reason to claim that left single quotation marks, or even apostrophes,
>> are "just the wrong symbol."
> As I wrote before: you misunderstood me here. There are some things,
> which are not my opinion, but just a simple fact.

And I'm saying these are not simple facts, they are standards. In 
English publishing typography style guides. Standards are not facts, 
they are guidelines, and very few standards are truly universal. A 
well-known xkcd cartoon <https://xkcd.com/927/>:

    SITUATION: There are 14 competing standards.

    "14? Ridiculous! We need to develop one universal standard that
    covers everyone's use cases."


    SITUATION: There are 15 competing standards.

> The following is a direct quote from Wikipedia (Okay, that page can be
> edited by anyone, but let's put that topic aside)
> -----------
> Unicode defines three apostrophe characters:
>     U+0027 ' APOSTROPHE    Typewriter apostrophe.
>     Punctuation apostrophe. Serves as both an apostrophe and closing
> single quotation mark. This is the preferred character to use for
> apostrophe according to the Unicode standard.

"According to the Unicode standard" is the key phrase here. Unicode does 
not act as the arbiter of "correct" punctuation. The purpose of Unicode 
is to express the writing systems of the world, not to dictate them.

> So, all I'm saying is: please do not use the left single quotation mark.
> It's the wrong symbol which usually only appears due to some autocorrect
> function.

So much for "I don't want to convince anyone of writing any specificic 
[sic] way." You are asking that we write in a specific way, and making 
an argument to convince us that doing what you say is objectively correct.


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