[tlhIngan Hol] from Maltz: the vanishing Cheshire Cat

Lieven L. Litaer levinius at gmx.de
Tue Nov 16 07:25:47 PST 2021

In "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland", there is the Cheshire Cat which
keeps appearing and disappearing all the time. Sometimes it's halfway
visible, sometimes it's all gone. While finding the right words to
express this, Maltz revealed some interesting information on existing words.

[talking about the vanishing cat:]

That would probably be {DemchoH}, assuming the process is gradual (as
opposed to instant). Note: "gradual" here does not necessarily imply "slow."

{loj} is used for something that incrementally or gradually (again, not
necessarily slowly) goes away. An example might be food on your plate or
dirt that you wash off of something. If the room the person walks into
is filled with, say, boxes that are to be taken somewhere and then, over
a short or long time, the boxes are removed, once the room has no boxes,
you could use {loj}.  If the person walked into the room and it was full
of furniture, then the person left the room and came back later only to
find the room empty (and there was no reason to expect this to happen),
you might use {ngab}.

For beaming away, {DemchoH} might make sense for describing what people
in the room who are watching someone beam away are seeing. That is, it’s
a way of describing what beaming looks like to those not beaming.  But,
of course, when beaming happens, the person who beams away doesn’t stay
there and become invisible. They’re gone! Once the person is gone, you
might use {ngab}. {loj} would be appropriate if you’re focusing on the
incremental disappearance of the person.

To express "gone" in the sense of "no longer here" and the like, make
use of {mej} or {mejmoH}. (This won’t work for the person coming into a
now-empty room unless what was in the room before and is no longer there
is animate. You wouldn’t normally say {mejpu’ quS} or {quS vImejmoH} —
unless the chair is a character in a cartoon.)

QelIS boqHarmey, p. 235

Lieven L. Litaer
aka the "Klingon Teacher from Germany"

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