Difference between Klingon and Tengwar

Christoph Päper christoph.paeper at crissov.de
Sun Sep 19 16:05:49 CDT 2021

Sławomir Osipiuk via Unicode:
> On Sun, Sep 19, 2021 at 6:21 AM David Starner via Unicode
> <unicode at corp.unicode.org> wrote:
>> This is not complete, but there's eight scripts that, if copyright
>> applies to scripts, are copyrighted in life+70 nations.

Valid and important observation indeed. 

> The scripts you mentioned (…) are different from Klingon, however. Their creators intended that they be used for communication. Their inclusion in Unicode furthers that aim, and it's a reasonable assumption that their creators consider it a benefit.
> Klingon originated as a movie/TV prop,

It originated there, yes, but what the fans and geeks made out of it is culture proper. The Klingon culture and language have been deliberately created, but these artifacts have become the basis of an actual living and flourishing community. The fans animated the prop. That makes the Klingon script, which is an integral part of this, no less valuable than your random minority script or obscure manuscript letter. It’s definitely worthy of encoding. 

> owned by a production company

Nobody can own a language, nor a writing system. That doesn’t stop people to try. 

> Additionally, the issue of "dignity" (…) is real. A script intended to aid the speakers of a natural
> language (…), to preserve a centuries-old cultural history, or to assist people who cannot communicate via standard speech, will be seen as noble and positive. A script invented as part of a fictional work, and adopted only by eccentric fans of that work, will be seen generally as trivial and weird.

That’d be “geekism”. It’s no less arrogant and ignorant than any other kind of cultural chauvinism. 

I’m pretty sure that if Marc Okrand had devised a special letter or diacritic mark to be used to transliterate Klingon with roman letters, it would have been added to Unicode twenty-something years ago. I mean, 🖖 is there and almost all that’s been said above could be said about this gesture as well. Being a complete alphabetic script shouldn’t change anything about that. 

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