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

SuStel sustel at trimboli.name
Mon May 24 06:36:20 PDT 2021

On 5/24/2021 8:21 AM, mayqel qunen'oS 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.

In English, /lightning, lightning bolt, thunder,/ and /thunderbolt/ can 
all be used kinda-sorta interchangeably. We understand the difference 
between thunder (the sound) and lightning (the visible discharge), but 
people mix them up all the time. It's not unusual for someone to see a 
flash in the sky and declare, "I saw thunder," or to hear a rumble and 
say, "I hear lightning." They're not technically correct to do so, but 
it's very common.

Someone being more careful would probably distinguish them like so:

/Lightning:/ uncountable noun referring to atmospheric electrical 
discharge or sometimes just its visible component.

/Lightning bolt:/ countable noun referring to a single electrical discharge.

/Thunder:/ uncountable noun referring to the sound caused by atmospheric 
electrical discharge.

/Thunderbolt:/ countable noun referring to the sound caused by a single 
electrical discharge.

These are also not necessarily exclusively correct.

> 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

Lightning doesn't come in rays. Unless Okrand has said otherwise, there 
is no such thing as a *pe'bIl tIH* outside of pulp films and novels. I 
dunno, maybe the word *tIH* is more flexible than that, but if it is, 
I'm not aware of any confirmation of this. Maybe Klingons talk about 
*pan*/emit sparks. /I dunno.

Since the English word /lightning/ could refer to either the general 
phenomenon or a singular bolt, I don't think you'll be able to answer 
exactly what *pe'bIl *means. I'd just leave it as *pe'bIl 'oH wa' Zeus 


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