Difference between Klingon and Tengwar

Mark E. Shoulson mark at kli.org
Thu Sep 16 19:59:54 CDT 2021

I don't think I was deeply involved in the discussions at the time 
either, but see 
https://www.unicode.org/L2/L2001/01212-RejectKlingon.html for some 

> Keeping Klingon on the books as "under investigation" leaves both UTC 
> and WG2 open to allegations of frivolity -- see various quotes below. 
> Every time the discussion comes up, this is pointed out. Leaving it 
> "on the books" is a source of embarrassment requiring continual 
> renewal of explanation as to why it is even under investigation. 

> To quote G. Adam Stanislav:
>     />It's silly to even consider Klingon for Unicode or 10646./
>     /Nah, it's not silly. It's offensive./
>     /I find it offensive that Klingon is more important to Unicode
>     Consortium than a human language. The way I see it, as long as the
>     proposal is not rejected, it is still being seriously considered.
>     For the record, the active status of the Klingon alphabet is *the*
>     reason why I stopped any work on any Unicode software, [...]/
> To quote John O'Connor:
>     /Knowing that the proposal has been placed on the back burner,
>     knowing that it isn't really taken seriously any longer, in the
>     true spirit of a Klingon, let us now kill the proposal and thus
>     leave it some dignity among its supporters. Dragging it around in
>     its weakened state, knowing that it will not recover, is not
>     honorable. It is disgraceful. Some Klingon next-of-kin should step
>     forward here...encourage the consortium to let the proposal die
>     with honor, with dignity. It's the Klingon way... /
>     /    Appealing to Klingon ethics and sentiment,
>             John /

As regards "/I find it offensive that Klingon is more important to 
Unicode Consortium than a human language."/, that means we have to 
prove, for every single thing we encode, that it is more important than 
everything not yet encoded.  Are characters from the Ormulum more 
"important" than unencoded scripts?  Do characters from rarefied 
Qur'anic typography take precedence?  Can we really prove we're doing 
this "in order"?

Another one: https://www.mail-archive.com/unicode@unicode.org/msg10345.html

I'm taking these from https://www.opoudjis.net/Klingon/piqad.html, but 
alas, the links there are all broken, and the wayback machine isn't helping.

I was responding to the "dignity" argument as mentioned by Doug Ewell, 
and as he said, perhaps it is the wrong word.  But the argument remains 
the same, whatever you call it, and even if it isn't what Ken was 
referring to, the above posts do imply that it is a real thing.


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