[tlhIngan Hol] Klingon Word of the Day: puS

Will Martin willmartin2 at mac.com
Tue May 25 03:48:39 PDT 2021


Following your advice, I get “My apples are a handful,” which elicits the response, “No, ,y apples are a few. My granddaughters are a handful.”

I say that for comic effect only. It’s not to diminish your point. 

Glosses work well sometimes and other glosses are somewhat messy. I honestly believe that {puS} is one of the messier ones. There isn’t a word in English that quite matches {puS}, so Okrand gives us several, each of which points vaguely toward what {puS} means and we have to figure it out from canon and from where our search for the best word in an expression leaves us with no obvious better choice than {puS}. 

Sent from my iPad

> On May 24, 2021, at 11:50 PM, Alan Anderson <qunchuy at alcaco.net> wrote:
> 
> 
>> On Mon, May 24, 2021 at 11:27 PM Will Martin <willmartin2 at mac.com> wrote:
> 
>> But it bothers me that it says “be few” instead of saying “be a few”.
>> 
>> To me “be few” just feels very, very different.
>> 
>> “I have a few apples” is just a statement about having three or four, or less commonly five apples.
>> 
>> But “I have few apples” loads the statement with a disappointed expectation. One might expect me to have a bunch of apples, but nope. I don’t. I have few.
> 
> Try not to base your intuition about the words' implications on how they present themselves in English. They're not acting with the same grammar. "A few" is a quantity. "Few" is an adjective. In Klingon, the unspecified quantity is {'op}, and the verb expressing a quality is {puS}.
> 
> To recalibrate your "feel" for the word, use it as a verb. "My apples are few." That might express disappointment, but it might just be a simple contrast with "my apples are many." Without context, I don't think it implies anything in particular.
>  
>> In other words, does {puS} = {law’be’} or {law’Ha’}?
> 
> Since it's a word in its own right, I don't think it needs to *equal* anything, but I think it's closer to {law'Ha'} than to {law'be'}.
> 
> -- ghunchu'wI'
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