Difference between Klingon and Tengwar

Ken Whistler kenwhistler at sonic.net
Tue Sep 14 17:07:35 CDT 2021


On 9/14/2021 2:31 PM, Mark E. Shoulson via Unicode wrote:
> So, pursuant to Ken Whistler's advice from back in 
> https://unicode.org/mail-arch/unicode-ml/y2016-m11/0091.html, I 
> submitted a request 
> (https://www.unicode.org/L2/L2021/21155-klingon-req.pdf) to have 
> motion 87-M3 rescinded, thereby making it permissible at least to 
> discuss Klingon on its merits.

Note that my advice from 2016 spoke to the issue of *roadmapping* 
Klingon -- not the issue of discussing it on its merits. There is, as 
far as I can tell, nothing which prohibits the latter. And in fact you 
have a fairly recent document in the document register to start that 
discussion: L2/20-181. All I would suggest is that instead of insisting 
on trying to find a specific niche in the SMP for it right now, you just 
adopt the xx00..xxFF convention that is recommended for early proposals, 
anyway, to disconnect discussion of the merits of encoding from any 
argument about precisely *where* the allocation might end up.

> Although a formal response is yet to be recorded, I have been informed 
> that Unicode is declining to rescind its decision, absent some sort of 
> consent from Paramount, etc.  And so I ask again: can someone please 
> tell me what the difference is between Klingon and tengwar (or Cirth, 
> etc) that one has this extra hoop to jump through (getting the 
> decision rescinded) and one doesn't?

It's pretty straightforward. The encoding of Tengwar and Cirth have not 
ever been pursued so intently that the UTC was forced to push back with 
a notice of non-approval (because of unresolved IP issues). Klingon, on 
the other hand, was a case *both* for IP issues interfering with a 
potential encoding that was being pushed *and* was an early poster child 
for what was considered "frivolous" encoding by many participants in SC2 
as well as by many senior managers who were paying the salaries of 
representatives they were sending to UTC meetings.

You aren't going to find a distinction by rooting around in the 
structure of the scripts themselves looking for objective differences, 
nor by trying to distinguish them by details of IP claims. The issues 
that matter are found in the social and economic contexts of the 
encoding activities of the committees and standardizers.


>   As far as I know, tengwar is in the same situation as regards 
> intellectual property.  If I know how they're different, maybe I can 
> see about getting Klingon into line with it so they'll be in the same 
> situation. Can anyone help me find out what the difference is?
> ~mark
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