[tlhIngan Hol] Klingon Word of the Day: puS

Will Martin willmartin2 at mac.com
Tue May 25 07:54:28 PDT 2021


Thanks.

You have convinced me.

It is interesting that Okrand seems to make no difference in his English translations between “few” and “a few”, though his gloss uses “a handful”, but not “a few”.

But just because it’s interesting, that doesn’t mean one should get all that worked up about the difference between “few” and “a few”.

I accept that it’s just a quirk in the gloss and not some kind of intended significance.

charghwI’ ‘utlh
(ghaH, ghaH, -Daj)

> On May 25, 2021, at 10:30 AM, SuStel <sustel at trimboli.name> wrote:
> 
> On 5/25/2021 10:12 AM, SuStel wrote:
>> On 5/25/2021 9:59 AM, Will Martin wrote:
>>> I was with you 100% until that last detail of your interpretation. I don’t get 5,000 out of “be few, be several, be a handful”, regardless of context. I quite honestly think you’ve gone to one extreme at least as far as I went to the other, and I doubt there’s anything like justification for that extreme interpretation in either canon or conversation with Okrand.
>>> 
>>> That’s not claiming that I’m right and you are wrong. I’m merely stating that I am nothing like convinced that 5,000 of anything could be {puS} in anything but a comparative grammatical construction. Outside of that very fossilized construction, it quite sincerely does not feel like the right word.
>> You have misread my message. I said I have 5,000 soldiers, you have 600 soldiers, and your 600 soldiers are puS. Yes, your 600 are few only in comparison to my 5,000, but that's my point: the word doesn't only mean three to five.
>> 
>> On the other hand, if I have 600 soldiers assigned to guard a single prisoner, there is no way you can call them puS. It's relative and context-dependent.
>> 
>> puS, like few, is one of those words that only has a definite meaning in context. Another is law'. How many soldiers are law'? That depends on what you need them for and what they're up against.
>> 
> Here, by the way, are the canonical, non-comparative uses of puS that I'm aware of:
> 
> pIpyuS pach DaSop DaneHchugh pIpyuS puS DaghornIS.
> If you want to eat pipius claw, you'll have to break a few pipiuses. (TKW)
> 
> qagh, ro'qegh'Iwchab, targh tIq Sop 'e' lungIl Humanpu' puS.
> Few humans dare to eat gagh, rokeg blood pie, or heart of targ. (Skybox S21)
> 
> veymey puS neH chenmoHlu'pu'
> Limited Edition (Klingon Monopoly)
> 
> The first of these is very vague. You could break three to five pipiuses to eat pipius claw, but then again, you could break two or six. The puS is there to tell us that you probably won't want to break just one.
> 
> The second one doesn't mean that only three to five humans have dared to eat these things. It means humans who dare to eat these things are rare. Compared to the total number of humans, the number of those who dare to eat these things is relatively small.
> 
> In the third case, I'm pretty sure they made more than three to five copies of the limited edition Klingon Monopoly. The puS is telling us that, compared to a normal print run, there are only a small number of copies of this edition.
> 
> That's what puS means. It means more than one, but significantly less than an average amount, whatever "average" means in the given context.
> 
> -- 
> SuStel
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