[tlhIngan Hol] lightning lightning bolt and {pe'bIl}

Will Martin willmartin2 at mac.com
Mon May 24 07:36:39 PDT 2021


Agreeing with the others, I’m just pointing out that the reason this is a challenging question is that the idea of a god that can hold a “bolt of lightning” in his hand and throw it at a target is essentially poetic, meaning that it is describing an  imaginary, unreal phenomenon. Holding a bolt of lightning in your hand is like holding love in your heart or anger in your spleen. We have these abstract, poetical ideas that are culture-based symbols, as is language. Part of what makes an expression meaningful within any language shared by two people is the cultural symbols shared by those people.

We don’t know if Klingons have lightning on Kronos. If lightning exists there, we don’t know if they ever imagined a god who held a bolt of it in his hand and threw it. [Here’s where someone pulls up a canon story of a Klingon god holding and throwing a bolt of lightning. I know that if such a story exists, someone here knows it and will cite it. You can thank me for giving you a moment of spotlight for knowing the answer I don’t know.]

We do know that Klingons have spears of a sort, so maybe they threw the spear instead of just stabbing with it (or maybe they think you’d be a coward for not walking up close enough to your enemy to stab him, or foolish to throw your spear because, well, after you throw it, you are unarmed. That’s a lot of maybes to go through before addressing the issue of whether or not they have seen throwing lightning and throwing spears as being analogous. Being alien beings, it’s hard to say.

So, it’s hard to say what the RIGHT word choice is for expressing a concept that we aren’t even sure makes any sense to a Klingon. A Klingon might look at you like an idiot and explain to you that if you grab lightning, you are quite literally in for the shock of your life.

Of course, you can always cop out and say that just because you are speaking Klingon doesn’t mean that you intend to say this to a Klingon. You actually want to say this to a human using the Klingon language.

In that case, both the speaker AND the listener are communicating a concept a Klingon wouldn’t understand anyway, so why argue over whether or not you got the wording “right”. Does the wording convey to a person who shares the same cultural symbology and analogies enough of the meaning that the listener understands the speaker? If the answer is “yes”, then you have communicated with a degree of success.

charghwI’ vaghnerya’ngan

rInpa’ bomnIS be’’a’ pI’.




> On May 24, 2021, at 8:21 AM, mayqel qunen'oS <mihkoun at gmail.com> wrote:
> 
> This is another subject in the category of "I don't understand because English isn't my native language". And the thing I don't understand, is if a native English speaker hearing "lightning" will understand/can understand (based on context), "lightning bolt" too.
> 
> And when I say "lightning bolt" I mean the thing which actually hits an unfortunate person on the head.. But first, here are some definitions/descriptions:
> 
> https://www.dictionary.com/browse/lightning <https://www.dictionary.com/browse/lightning>
> 
> "a brilliant electric spark discharge in the atmosphere, occurring within a thundercloud, between clouds, or between a cloud and the ground".
> 
> https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/lightning <https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/lightning>
> 
> "the flashing of light produced by a discharge of atmospheric electricity also : the discharge itself".
> 
> https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lightning_bolt <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lightning_bolt>
> 
> "Lightning bolt often refers to: 
> 
> - Lightning strike, an electric discharge between the atmosphere and the ground.
> - Thunderbolt, a symbolic representation of lightning accompanied by a loud thunderclap."
> 
> https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lightning_strike <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lightning_strike>
> 
> "A lightning strike or lightning bolt is an electric discharge between the atmosphere and the ground. Most originate in a cumulonimbus cloud and terminate on the ground, called cloud-to-ground (CG) lightning. A less common type of strike, ground-to-cloud (GC) lightning, is upward propagating lightning initiated from a tall grounded object and reaching into the clouds. About 69% of all lightning events worldwide are strikes between the atmosphere and earth-bound objects. Most are intra-cloud (IC) lightning and cloud-to-cloud (CC), where discharges only occur high in the atmosphere.[1][2] Lightning strikes the average commercial aircraft at least once a year, but modern engineering and design means this is rarely a problem. The movement of aircraft through clouds can even cause lightning strikes.[3]
> 
> A single lightning event is a "flash", which is a complex, multi-stage process, some parts of which are not fully understood. Most CG flashes only "strike" one physical location, referred to as a "termination". The primary conducting channel, the bright coursing light that may be seen and is called a "strike", is only about one inch in diameter, but because of its extreme brilliance, it often looks much larger to the human eye and in photographs. Lightning discharges are typically miles long, but certain types of horizontal discharges can be upwards of tens of miles in length. The entire flash lasts only a fraction of a second."
> 
> And here comes the question:
> 
> I want to say "One of the attributes of Zeus is the lightning bolt"; i.e. "the thing which looks like an arrow/spear made of lightning" which is held by Zeus. (Picture: https://stock.adobe.com/gr_en/search/images?k=zeus+lightning+hand <https://stock.adobe.com/gr_en/search/images?k=zeus+lightning+hand>)
> 
> Is it enough to write:
> 
> pe'bIl 'oH wa' zeus DI'on''e'
> one of the characteristics of zeus is the lightning
> 
> Or should I necessarily write:
> 
> pe'bIl tIH 'oH wa' zeus DI'on''e'
> one of the characteristics of zeus is the lightning ray/beam
> 
> ~ Dana'an
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