[tlhIngan Hol] {petaQ} normally takes {-pu'}, using {-mey} adds a further layer of insult

De'vID de.vid.jonpin at gmail.com
Thu May 26 21:27:40 PDT 2022

(p. 143, lines 4-6) {nItlhejbogh petaQmey / tInuD chaHvaD / nIb yan wIjwI'
jan je}

TKD says that {-mey} on beings capable of language conveys the idea of "all
over the place", but here it says {nItlhejbogh petaQmey} "p'takhs at your
side", and if they're at Kahless' side, they are not scattered about. is
{-mey} the usual suffix for {petaQ} (because {petaQ} are considered
incapable of language)? Or is the {-mey} an additional layer of insult
(similar to using {-wIj} instead of {-wI'}, as described in TKD)? Or is
this an error?

>>> {-mey} is used here in the insulting sense.

Why does it have an insulting sense here?

>>> Short answer: Not only is Molor insulting Kahless’s troops by referring
to them as p’takhs, he’s further insulting them by saying they’re not
capable of language. (And maybe he’s implying that they’re disorganized —
scattered about — as well.)

(end of message)

In a related note, someone (not Dr. Okrand) had added a footnote on p.70 of
the 1st edition of the paq'batlh where they speculated that the word was
derived from {taQ} "be weird". The 2nd edition will change this footnote to
read: "P'takh ({petaQ}) is an insulting Klingon epithet. Its resemblance to
the verb {taQ}, meaning "be weird", preceded by the you (plural) imperative
prefix ({pe-}) is coincidental, and the claim that they are related is not
supported by research."

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