[tlhIngan Hol] Klingon Word of the Day: joq

Steven Boozer sboozer at uchicago.edu
Wed Oct 6 07:33:33 PDT 2021

Klingon word: 	joq
Part of speech: 	conj
Definition: 	and/or (joining nouns)

   DeS 'uS joq 
   an arm or a leg or both. TKD

   pung ghap HoS 
   Mercy or power [TKW sic!]

(TKW 119):  It is noteworthy that the conjunction in the Klingon phrase is {ghap} (either/or), not {joq} (and/or). This implies that one must choose between mercy and power; they are incompatible.

   *ngIpwI' nojwI' joq yIDaQo' 
    “Neither a borrower nor a lender be” (TKH I:3)

{joq} can sometimes be omitted: 
   qagh, ro'qegh'Iwchab, targh tIq Sop 'e' lungIl Humanpu' puS 
   Few humans dare to eat gagh, rokeg blood pie, or heart of targ. (S21)

(TKD 55):  The conjunctions joining nouns come after the final noun.

(KGT 139):  When it comes to grammar, the younger generation is innovative as well.  One of the more noteworthy characteristics of their speech is the placement of conjunctions joining nouns ({je}, and; {joq}, and/or; {ghap}, either/or).  In standard Klingon grammar, the conjunction follows the last noun of the conjoined set; for example, {naQjej 'etlh taj je} (spear, sword, and knife; literally, "spear, sword, knife and") or {tlhInganpu' romuluSnganpu' ghap} (either Klingons or Romulans; that is, "Klingons Romulans or").  Instead of putting the conjunction after the last noun of the phrase, younger Klingons are often heard putting it before the final noun:  {naQjej 'etlh je taj}, {tlhInganpu' ghap romuluSnganpu'}.  This is a common young person's error, and teachers seem to be constantly correcting it, with reasonable success.  It is interesting to note that in earlier stages of the language (and the form of language still used in many rituals and in some forms of writing), at least under certain circumstances, the conjunction did indeed precede the final noun, meaning it was not always a mistake to use that phrasing.

N.B. do not confuse with the verb {joq} "flap, flutter, wave, beat [heart]".

qoj 	or, and/or (conj. Joining sentences) [i.e. {joq} backwards]

Voragh, Ca'Non Master of the Klingons
    Please contribute relevant vocabulary from the last year or two. I’ve fallen 
    behind in updating my files and adding cross-references for related words.  

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