[tlhIngan Hol] hard truths about the future

Will Martin willmartin2 at mac.com
Fri Dec 24 08:33:39 PST 2021

The only meaningful response is that I find it interesting that you consider yourself to be the arbiter of who is an expert, and you consider this boundary to be deeply important.

Full disclosure: I consider myself to be better than most because of my experience as a Beginners’ Grammarian and because of my long history with the language, but “better than most” is only meaningful because “most” haven’t worked as hard at it as I have for as long as I have. Being Beginners’ Grammarian is an experience that pushes people harder to improve themselves than most people manage as self-motivation. It’s one of the reasons SuStel is as good as he is.

But I don’t consider myself to be among the best anymore. I’m rusty, and life doesn’t really give me the spare time to prioritize regaining currency, and I’m okay with that. I’m not really into fame and glory.

I openly acknowledge that while I’m credited as an editor for The Klingon Hamlet, none of my edits made it into the book because very early on the author I was editing, who was an adolescent at the time, made it clear that he would accept no edits, since he already considered everything he had written to be perfect. When I objected to being in the credits, I was told to let it slide, since it could serve as an odd equivalent to acknowledgment for other less visible things I’d done, like creating the original New Words List or giving Okrand his first annotated (with sources listed) dictionary of his own words, which he had scattered about his home on scraps of paper. As an example of his quirky sense of humor, he passed an error he’d found in my Annotated Klingon Dictionary into the lexicon of one of the later books, not that it matters much.

Basically, I was at the first person to think of citing sources in my personal lexicon of the language, which proved useful for resolving people’s conflicting memories of whether or not a word was “real”. Obviously others have dug far deeper at organizing canon in ways that allow retrieval. I’m deeply impressed at the quality of this work and the generosity of time given to serve others toward this end.

But my contributions are strictly historical. Others took over the New Words List a decade or two ago, and boQwI’ is handier anyway. So, I’m not offended by not being counted as an expert. If you are expecting otherwise, you don’t know me and you misunderstand my motives badly enough to misinterpret stuff I say.

SuStel and ghunchu’wI’ are the other people who still write here and were here back in the day when I was among the experts. Others of the Old Guard may lurk here and very, VERY rarely write in. I’m still here out of habit as much as anything else. It’s so familiar. I’ve left and returned a couple times, and basically I’m not as passionate about it as I once was, so I’m less likely to leave in a huff, which is the only way I’ve ever left before. I’d need some new reason to leave at this point. I mostly haven’t left because I’ve seen so many others leave and feel the list is worse for their absence.

Meanwhile, expertise is a lot like “intelligence”. It matters less than what you do with it. It’s like MENSA membership. So?

How do you use your expertise to benefit others, or to spread the language or make it more robust as a movement?

I’m not doing much with mine, but I’m also not trying to draw lines between those who are experts and those who are not. I just want people to enjoy the language as a fun project; as an interesting mind game to help one expand one’s capacity to have thoughts that English might not provide an efficient framework for developing. My capacity for thought has been expanded by each language I’ve dabbled in. I genuinely wish this wider capacity were enjoyed by more people, hence my interest in the perpetuation of the Klingon language.


charghwI’ ‘utlh
(ghaH, ghaH, -Daj)

> On Dec 24, 2021, at 7:10 AM, mayqel qunen'oS <mihkoun at gmail.com> wrote:
> e
> charghwI':
>> It’s clear that you don’t consider me to be an expert. Same for the original Grammarian
> Interesting.. According to the klingon wiki: http://klingon.wiki/En/RichYampell
> ***** quote starts *****
> Rich Yampell (Klingon name Qanqor or "Krankor") is a very experienced
> Klingonist and the first official grammarian of the KLI. He wrote
> regular grammatical columns in HolQeD, summarized in a book named The
> Grammarian's Desk in 1997. He was one of the instructors at the first
> Klingon Language Camp. At qep'a' javDIch in 1999 he received the award
> of being a Friend of Maltz.
> ***** quote ends *****
> But, there is something very interesting written by SuStel at the
> following thread:
> http://lists.kli.org/pipermail/tlhingan-hol-kli.org/2016-July/000495.html
> *****quote starts*****
> Krankor's grammar is /not/ to be interpreted as canonical, or even good.
> Much of what he wrote was composed before a lot of later information was
> obtained, and Krankor largely refuses to update his understanding of the
> language when new information appears or when our understanding of the
> grammar changes.
> Upon his learning of something new Okrand has said regarding the
> grammar, I have heard him flatly refuse to follow it simply because he
> didn't like it.
> *****quote ends*****
> So charghwI', why should I consider an expert a person who "largely
> refuses to update his understanding of the language when new
> information appears or when our understanding of the grammar changes.
> Upon his learning of something new Okrand has said regarding the
> grammar, I have heard him flatly refuse to follow it simply because he
> didn't like it."?
> And you don't have to answer because the answer is self-evident: I shouldn't.
> t
> - Daj.. SovmoH klingon wiki
> - 'a Dajqu'bogh vay' jatlhpu' SuStel
> - vaj charghwI', qatlh Sarvam nuvvaD po'wI' vIDamnIS?  'ej
> bIjangnISbe', nIteb nom janglaHmo' vay': Sarvam nuvvaD po'wI'
> vIDamnISbe'ba'.
> -- 
> Dana'an
> https://sacredtextsinklingon.wordpress.com/
> Ζεὺς ἦν, Ζεὺς ἐστίν, Ζεὺς ἔσσεται· ὦ μεγάλε Ζεῦ
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