[tlhIngan Hol] transport or transporter?

De'vID de.vid.jonpin at gmail.com
Mon May 3 01:19:00 PDT 2021


On Sun, 2 May 2021 at 23:10, SuStel <sustel at trimboli.name> wrote:

> *Transporter* and *transport* are synonymous in this context, and the
> Klingons say *transport *in *Star Trek III. *There's no error here.
> Okrand was just going along with the terminology of the movie he made the
> dictionary for.
>
> I agree that this isn't an error, so much as two alternative terms, one of
which is (or has become) much more popular than the other. Maybe at the
time that TKD was written, "transport beam" and "transport room" were still
in somewhat common use, but if I bet if you ask any Star Trek fan today
what the "correct" terminology is, almost everyone would say "transporter
beam" and "transporter room".

If you search chakoteya.net (one of the most popular Star Trek
transcript repositories), there are 2 instances of "transport beam" vs. 57
of "transporter beam", and 1 instance of "transport room" vs. 333 of
"transporter room". Clearly, the "transporter" variants of these terms are
by far more common.

In Google Books Ngram viewer (not restricted to Star Trek), "transporter
beam" has been winning out over "transport beam", and ditto for "room":
https://books.google.com/ngrams/graph?content=transport+beam%2C+transporter+beam&year_start=1800&year_end=2019&corpus=26&smoothing=3&direct_url=t1%3B%2Ctransport%20beam%3B%2Cc0%3B.t1%3B%2Ctransporter%20beam%3B%2Cc0
https://books.google.com/ngrams/graph?content=transport+room%2Ctransporter+room&year_start=1800&year_end=2019&corpus=26&smoothing=3&direct_url=t1%3B%2Ctransport%20room%3B%2Cc0%3B.t1%3B%2Ctransporter%20room%3B%2Cc0

(Before Star Trek, the terms had been used in civil and electrical
engineering.)

I also found an instance on the Klingon CD (in the language lab) of Marc
Okrand saying "The Klingon word for transporter beam is {jol}."
https://youtu.be/Bjp9t85pEr0?t=13

So it seems that, after TKD (2ed. in 1992, but the {jol} words appear
unchanged from the original 1985 edition), even Dr. Okrand switched to
using the "transporter" variant consistently (Power Klingon [1993], Klingon
CD [1996], Bird-Of-Prey poster [1998]). It's not an error, but it is
somewhat of an anachronism to preserve the "transport" variants as the
default definitions. It's basically a stylistic choice, I suppose.

-- 
De'vID
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