[tlhIngan Hol] is De' "data, information" countable ?

SuStel sustel at trimboli.name
Fri Jul 10 10:17:24 PDT 2020

On 7/10/2020 12:55 PM, Lieven L. Litaer wrote:
> Am 10.07.2020 um 18:40 schrieb nIqolay Q:> This sentence also provides
> another example of later canon changing
> [...]
>> In the example sentence, *tlhuD* is used with electricity. (Although
>> perhaps a jolt of electricity is close enough to radiation -- that is, a
>> discharge of energetic particles -- that it still counts.)
> That's what I thought too. I am not a physicist, but I think that [at
> least from aKlingon point of view] electricity pretty well fits into the
> idea of radiation.

As someone who has had some training in physics, I can tell you that 
electricity is not radiation, though the two are related phenomena. 
Electricity about is the presence and movement of electrically charged 
particles. Radiation is about the emission of waves or particles of all 
kinds. There is some overlap between the two, in that electromagnetic 
radiation (e.g., light) affects the electric (and magnetic) field.

> And even if it's not - perhabs we could accept that this is one of the
> things where the Klingon language just is that way as it is. Even though
> Okrand said "tlhuD refers to radiation only", he did not say that
> electricity is not part of it. The summary of all of this is that tlhuD
> is used with radiation and electricity.

I think it's more likely that the scientific terminology evolved AFTER 
the Klingon language, so scientific jargon may not be identical to the 
layman's language. We speak in quantum mechanics of /waves,/ but the 
word just comes from the movement of water — which is waves, but the 
quantum mechanical Schrodinger Equation doesn't represent a physical 
object actually waving. We speak of an event horizon, even though the 
word /horizon/ really refers to the point at which an object disappears 
around the curve of the Earth. We speak of quantum spin: even though the 
particle is not literally spinning, it behaves in certain ways as if it 
were. Scientific jargon grows out of ordinary language.

Also, Okrand is not a physicist. He's speaking in the same register as 
he did in /The Klingon Dictionary:/ crudely. We have one example of *'ul 
tlhuD,* which may mean that you can *tlhuD* electricity, or it may mean 
some writer got sloppy with scientific jargon. Maybe some Klingon 
scientist will push his duct-taped glasses up his ridgy nose, sniffle, 
and say, "ACTUALLY, people always say *'ul tlhuD*, but *'ul* doesn't 
actually get *tlhuD*ed." We don't know.

For now, if someone says *'ul tlhuD,* don't sweat it. Okrand said 
"radiation only," but we don't really know exactly how technically 
accurate that is supposed to be. *tlhuD* may or may not be used with 
electricity, and we don't have enough information to say for sure, but 
if someone uses it, there's no point in cracking down on it.


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