[tlhIngan Hol] x nuq vs nuq x & 'Iv x vs x 'Iv

SuStel sustel at trimboli.name
Thu Oct 10 06:27:54 PDT 2019

On 10/9/2019 10:44 PM, Will Martin wrote:
> I think that clipped Klingon is most appropriate when there is urgency 
> to the message, as in battle. If someone says {nuqDaq puchpa’}, then 
> point to the bathroom and get out of the way.
> I don’t see {nuq mI’lIj} as obviously urgent, unless shouted by a 
> suspicious guard pointing the unfriendly end of a nasty weapon at you.
> In other settings, I’d just consider it poor grammar spoken by an 
> illiterate, uneducated, backwoods peasant, or maybe a local who is 
> speaking loud and slow for a tourist he considers an idiot who has to 
> look up every word in a guidebook.

We have quite extensive information about when to use Clipped Klingon.

/The Klingon Dictionary/ describes Clipped Klingon as a form of 
day-to-day language, as opposed to the language taught formally to 
non-Klingons. It says it is used frequently in military contexts where 
quick communication is needed. It says Clipped Klingon is also used 
extensively in all other contexts, implicitly linking the Klingon 
lifestyle to military matters.

/Power Klingon/ tells us that the prevailing form of speech during 
battles is Clipped Klingon. It recommends using Clipped Klingon in 
everyday speech to show an allegiance to military jargon. It can also be 
used to express urgency.

/Klingon for the Galactic Traveler/ tells us that a bat'leth instructor 
will generally issue commands in Clipped Klingon. It describes some 
rituals that use clipped words in them. It again describes how Clipped 
Klingon is used in battle situations, and adds contexts in which 
standard phrases are expected to be heard. It says that because you may 
not be able to properly interpret Clipped Klingon if you don't already 
know what the phrase is supposed to say, its use is typically only found 
in such times. It describes times when Clipped Klingon would be 
inappropriate, such as ordering a drink at a bar if your desired drink 
isn't already known. It illustrates switching from Clipped Klingon to 
full Klingon to express annoyance and to challenge one's honor. We're 
told that Clipped Klingon is often used in song lyrics, partly to fit 
the meter, partly because songs are often associated with battle, and 
partly to enable useful ambiguities.

Given all that, I would say it's pretty clear that the hotel desk 
manager who asks *nuq mI'lIj?* isn't expressing any annoyance with an 
ignorant tourist and isn't evidence of a backwater dialect; they're 
simply employing Clipped Klingon in a very routine part of their jobs in 
a way consistent with what we're told. A guest with a reservation shows 
up, so the desk clerk asks the very standard question, "What number?"


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