[tlhIngan Hol] slang vs. idiomatic usage

SuStel sustel at trimboli.name
Sat Jun 11 05:08:36 PDT 2022

On 6/11/2022 7:38 AM, Lieven L. Litaer wrote:
> Hello dear friends,
> I'm expanding this topic from a discussion on Facebook. I'm not claiming
> that I'm right with this, but just want to hear your opinion or
> clarification on this.
> Basis: Okrand sometimes gives words he labels as "used idiomatically",
> such as {Soj}. He also sometimes has words he calls "slang".
> The point:
> Someone said that in the context of Klingon, "single words used
> idiomatically" would be what is called "slang".
> I think that is not the case, but I might be wrong, maybe I confuse
> something.
> My opinion is based on this:
> After all, why would KGT have two separate chapters for this? On page
> 21, it talks about "slang and idiomatic usages", so clearly makes a
> difference: "slang" AND "idiomatic usage".
> From my knowledge, and what KGT also says, is that slang refers to
> terms used in a special way (think of English "bucks" or "greenbacks"
> for "dollar note") while idoms are phrases or words with an additionaly
> meaning (like "raining cats and dogs"). Also, slang is [mostly] used by
> younger people in a colloquial way while idioms are set parts of the
> language and both young and old people use it, and can also be used in
> written language, which one would avoid with slang terms. [KGT 136, 142]
> Is there a clear answer on this?

You are correct. A word used idiomatically is simply one that is used 
with a meaning slightly different than its literal meaning, but which 
can be used in any setting or register. Slang is an expression that is 
only used informally or among certain cohorts and is considered 
incorrect outside of its appropriate setting. The Klingon word *Soj* 
meaning /subject/ is idiomatic but not slang because it can be used in 
any register.

There is some overlap between the two, in that slang will often be 

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