[tlhIngan Hol] {neH} "merely" with imperatives

Will Martin willmartin2 at mac.com
Sun Oct 17 09:52:20 PDT 2021

As a person who identifies as what Americans call “Cherokee”, which was a remarkably bad French transliteration of Tsalagi, which I would hope that Klingons would transliterate as {tlhalaghIy} rather than continue along the French bad transliteration as {cheroqIy}, I realized that given how little average White Americans know or understand about the people their ancestors stole all this land from, I certainly didn’t expect someone from another continent to be other than clueless about the term “Native American”. I mean, we still refer to my tribe by the French name instead of by their actual name, which is not all that hard for English speakers to pronounce. Then again, we still use the British “Germany” for Deutschland, and we still refer to a small collection of islands as “Great” Britain (which should be spelled “Britton” or pronounced “Bry-shun").

Then again, the problem with the term "Native American" is that it seeks to describe one group of people who don’t see themselves as one group. It’s said that nothing makes a friend like a common enemy, but each tribe saw the other tribes as rivals as much as they saw the Europeans as rivals. The Lakota Tribe has long been called Sioux, which was a name that enemy tribes called them. It was a slur, but Whites were clueless because they had already learned that this was what other tribes called them, so that must be their name, right?

Even the Cherokee identified themselves as separated into seven clans, and traditionally, their understanding of what they called “war” was always with one clan at war with another clan, within the Cherokee tribe, though their warpath was more of a police action (retribution for a specific act of murder) rather than for economic or political dominance, as is the common non-Native American practice.

Meanwhile, I am a person whose first language is American English. Most of my ancestry is from England, though we’ve been here for centuries.

So, my preferred term here is “person who has American English as a first language,” even though most Americans have American English as their ONLY language. That’s why the American TV series, Star Trek” refers to it as “Federation Standard”. We’d rather believe in the future that all humans learned English because it would be less work for us than if, god forbid, we should have to learn some other language.

And to make it worse, we cast a British actor as “John Luc Picard”, replacing what should have been a French accent (like Scottie’s Scottish accent and Chekov’s Russian accent — THEY didn’t have British accents) because for all the different American accents we have, we perversely consider British accent the gold standard for spoken English, even though these people pronounce “Saint John” so that it rhymes with “engine”. Put an “S” at the beginning of “engine” and you pretty much have it right.


Fulfilling my marital duties has involved listening to a lot of British accents on TV lately, and my soul is wearing thin from it. If the news has an unexplained mass murder/suicide in the near future and they are mystified as to the root cause, you will have had the inside scoop.

My sanity has based itself on a fictional prequel to Old Timey Music, which I’m naming Neanderthaemy. It’s my life's sound track.

Banjo vIQoy. Domaj yIghurmoH.

> On Oct 17, 2021, at 10:23 AM, De'vID <de.vid.jonpin at gmail.com> wrote:
> On Fri, 15 Oct 2021 at 15:28, SuStel <sustel at trimboli.name <mailto:sustel at trimboli.name>> wrote:
> On 10/15/2021 9:21 AM, mayqel qunen'oS wrote:
>> SuStel:
>> > You keep saying "native american." Be
>> > aware that in the United States, this
>> > phrase, capitalized, refers to a member of
>> > an indigenous tribe, not to any natural-
>> > born citizen of the US.
>> I didn't know that. So how does one describe people born and raised in the u.s.a?
>> Just "americans", or does he need each time to say the entire "natural born citizen of the u.s.a"?
> In English, the only simple word we have for it is American. I remember the delight I experienced in high school when I learned that Spanish had a separate word for it, estadounidense.
> In Canada, the indigenous tribes are called First Peoples. Canadians are familiar that US English uses Native American instead (though many Americans aren't equally familiar with the Canadian term), so I'm not sure how a Canadian would interpret the phrase native American. They'd probably just assume  you were using the US English term.
> I'm Canadian and I understood that the usage was an error, but with the obvious intended meaning of "native speaker of American English". 
> -- 
> De'vID
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