Re: Klingons and their allies - Beyond 17 planes

From: John Cowan (
Date: Fri Oct 17 2003 - 05:43:49 CST

Jill Ramonsky scripsit:

> It seems a simple enough case to argue - EITHER the 0x110000 character
> space is amply big enough for everyone, as John Cowan asserts.

Big enough for everyone, but not for everything. Encoding Klingon has
a cost beyond the allocation of codepoints: proposals must be written
(taking time away from other proposals that need to be written), committees
must deliberate, facts must be checked. Most of that work had already
been done for Klingon, as it's a dirt-simple script, much more so than
Latin, to say nothing of Hebrew. But it's a precedent.

> [I should stress at this point the Klingon script /is/ used by the
> peoples of the Earth, right here in the 21st century].

Well, in fact the people who use it most are the _Star Trek_ set designers,
and they use it not to write Klingon, but purely as a design element.
There are many glyphs that appear on the show that aren't used in the
standard mapping.

> The fact is that Klingon language publications,
> by and large, use the Romanized transcription presented in The
> Klingon Dictionary. This is arguably a chicken-and-egg situation,
> but nobody argued that point successfully to the relevant Unicode
> committees. /

I don't think for a moment it's a chicken-and-egg situation. Klingon
is written in the Latin script in essentially all running-text (as opposed
to decorative) instances of its use. If it were c-and-e, the script could
still be written by hand -- though it must have the worst ductus of any
script ever devised, and would probably be writable only with the
assistance of a set of rubber stamps.

> It seems to me that if 0x110000 codepoints isn't a big enough space to
> fit in the Klingon alphabet (and other alphabets which were similarly
> rejected) then we need more codepoints.

That would be true if Klingon had been rejected for lack of space. It
wasn't. It was rejected for inappropriateness in other respects.

(BTW, Michael, I can't agree that Klingon script is a cipher for Latin.
The mapping is to Klingon phonemes, not Latin letters as such.)

Long-short-short, long-short-short / Dactyls in dimeter,
Verse form with choriambs / (Masculine rhyme):
One sentence (two stanzas) / Hexasyllabically
Challenges poets who / Don't have the time.     --robison who's at texas dot net

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