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Learn Klingon in 6 Steps

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Ha! So you think you have the fortitude to learn Klingon? Yes, yes, go on with your "clever" jokes about "geeks" "wasting time" in their "parents' basements" or whatever the weak and insecure do when they realize they do not have what it takes to master the language of Wil'yam Shex'pir. Do you know what the very first lines of the very first Star Trek movie were? It was back in 1979 and some of you may not have been born yet, so I will tell you. They were "wIy cha'! HaSta! cha yIghuS!" The subtitles read "Tactical…Visual…Tactical, stand by on torpedoes!" but much was lost in the translation.

They may have left us out of the last movie, but this week, the Klingons are back and more fearsome than ever. You can do the feeble, dishonorable thing and read the subtitles when we speak, or you can do the honorable thing and learn Klingon before you see the movie.

1. Pronunciation

This is the word for "no": ghobe'. Try it.

No, no, further back in the throat. The 'gh' should be almost like a gargle. And what is this "beeehhh"? Are you a sheep? The word ends with a glottal stop. The mark is there for a reason. Close the back of throat abruptly as soon as the vowel escapes --be'! Cut it off like a guillotine!

2. Pronunciation, part II

Shall we try "yes" instead? You people always want to be so positive for some reason. Ok, HIja'.
Again, you have a throat—use it! Don't let so much air through with that "H." Close the opening; make it noisy like the end of "yechhh!" That "I" is just like the vowel in "big," no need to get fancy, but, hey! Again, there's a glottal stop at the end. Don’t forget to cut it off!

3. Greetings

Greetings? What do you think this is, French class? We don't do greetings in Klingon. If you feel the urge to say hello to someone, say nuqneH. It means, "what do you want?"

4. Vocabulary

vaQ, to be aggressive; may'morgh, battle array; batlh, honor; 'uH, to have a hangover. That should cover most situations. If you need more look it up yourself! We have taken over the translator at Bing.

5. Sentence structure

Hab SoSlI' Quch. This is a terrible insult meaning "your mother has a smooth forehead." Use with extreme caution. Word for word it translates as "smooth mother-your forehead." Possession, like most grammatical functions in Klingon, is indicated by a suffix (here lI'). Hab is a verb, "to be smooth." The subject comes after the verb in Klingon.

6. Word structure

You could waste a lot of time going over each grammatical affix individually, but if you have what it takes, you can learn almost all of them through a single sentence. Many years ago the Klingon Language Institute held a contest to see who could construct the longest three-word sentence in Klingon, and this was the winner:

nobwI''a'pu'qoqvam'e' nuHegh'eghrupqa'moHlaHbe'law'lI'neS SeH'eghtaHghach'a'na'chajmo'.

"The so-called great benefactors are seemingly unable to cause us to prepare to resume honorable suicide (in progress) due to their definite great self-control."

The root words are nob (give), Hegh (kill), and SeH (control). The rest of it is prefixes and suffixes that add additional information: -wI' (-er), -'a' (augmentative), -pu' (plural), -qoq (so-called), -vam (these), -'e' (topic), nu- (third person plural subject, first person plural object), -'egh (self), -rup (ready), -qa' (resume), -moH (cause), -laH (can), -be' (not), -law' (apparently), -lI' (in progress), -neS (honorific), -taH (continue), -ghach (nominalizer), -na' (definite), chaj (their), -mo' (due to).

So, do you have what it takes? I didn't think so. Back to your subtitles then. Watch this until you've got it down.

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Including Smiley Emojis in Your Work Emails Could Make You Look Incompetent
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If you’re looking to give your dry work emails some personality, sprinkling in emojis may not be the smartest strategy. As Mashable reports, smiley emojis in professional correspondences rarely convey the sentiments of warmth that were intended. But they do make the sender come across as incompetent, according to new research.

For their paper titled "The Dark Side of a Smiley," researchers at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev in Israel looked at 549 subjects from 29 countries. After reading emails related to professional matters, participants were asked to judge the "competence and warmth" of the anonymous sender.

Emails that featured a smiley face were found to have a "negative effect on the perception of competence." That anti-emoji bias led readers to view the actual content of those emails as less focused and less detailed than the messages that didn’t include emojis.

Previous research has shown that sending emojis to people you’re not 100 percent comfortable with is always a gamble. That’s because unlike words or facial expressions, which are usually clear in their meanings, the pictographs we shoot back and forth with our phones tend to be ambiguous. One study published last year shows that the same emoji can be interpreted as either positive or negative, depending on the smartphone platform on which it appears.

Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to communicate effectively without leaning on emojis to make you look human. Here are some etiquette tips for making your work emails sound clear and competent.

[h/t Mashable]

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Words
9 Sweet Old Words for Bitter Tastes and Taunts
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Whether you’re enjoying the sharp taste of an IPA or disliking some nasty words from a colleague, it’s hard not to talk about bitterness. But we could all use a few new—or old—terms for this all-too-common concept. So let’s dig into the history of English to find a few words fit to describe barbs and rhubarbs.

1. STOMACHOUS

Have you ever spoken with bile and gall? If so, you’ll understand why stomachous is also a word describing bitterness, especially bitter words and feelings. This is an angry word to describe spiteful outbursts that come when you’ve had a bellyful of something. In The Faerie Queen, Edmond Spencer used the term, describing those who, “With sterne lookes, and stomachous disdaine, Gaue signes of grudge and discontentment vaine." You can also say someone is “stomachously angry,” a level of anger requiring a handful of antacids.

2. WORMWOOD

Artemisia absinthium (wormwood) is the patron plant of bitterness, which has made wormwood synonymous with the concept. Since at least the 1500s, that has included wormwood being used as an adjective. Shakespeare used the term in this way: “Thy secret pleasure turnes to open shame ... Thy sugred tongue to bitter wormwood tast.” George Parsons Lathrop reinforced this meaning in 1895 via the bitterness of regret, describing “the wormwood memories of wrongs in the past.” Unsurprisingly, some beers are brewed with wormwood to add bitterness, like Storm Wormwood IPA.

3. BRINISH

The earliest uses of brinish are waterlogged, referring to saltiness of the sea. The term then shifted to tears and then more general bitterness. Samuel Hieron used it in his 1620 book Works: “These brinish inuectiues are vnsauory” [sic]. Nothing can ruin your day quite like brinish invective.

4. CRABBED

Crabby is a popular word for moods that are, shall we say, not reminiscent of puppies and rainbows. Crabbed has likewise been used to describe people in ways that aren’t flattering to the crab community. The Oxford English Dictionary’s etymological note is amusing: “The primary reference was to the crooked or wayward gait of the crustacean, and the contradictory, perverse, and fractious disposition which this expressed.” This led to a variety of meanings running the gamut from perverse to combative to irritable—so bitter fits right in. Since the 1400s, crabbed has sometimes referred to tastes and other things that are closer to a triple IPA than a chocolate cookie. OED examples of “crabbed supper” and “crabbed entertainment” both sound displeasing to the stomach.

5. ABSINTHIAN

This word, found in English since the 1600s, is mainly a literary term suggesting wormwood in its early uses; later, it started applying to the green alcohol that is bitter and often illegal. A 1635 couplet from poet Thomas Randolph sounds like sound dietary advice: “Best Physique then, when gall with sugar meets, Tempring Absinthian bitternesse with sweets.” A later use, from 1882 by poet Egbert Martin, makes a more spiritual recommendation: “Prayer can empty life's absinthian gall, Rest and peace and quiet wait its call.”

6. RODENT

Now here’s a bizarre, and rare, twist on a common word. Though we’re most familiar with rodents as the nasty rats digging through your garbage and the adorable hamsters spinning in a wheel, this term has occasionally been an adjective. Though later uses apply to corrosiveness and literal rodents, the earliest known example refers to bitterness. A medical example from 1633, referring to the bodily humors, shows how this odd term was used: “They offend in quality, being too hot, or too cold, or too sharp, and rodent.”

7. NIPPIT

The first uses of nippit, found in the 1500s, refer to scarcity, which may be because this is a variation of nipped. In the 1800s, the term spread to miserliness and narrow-mindedness, and from there to more general bitterness. OED examples describe “nippit words” and people who are “mean or nippit.”

8. SNELL

This marvelous word first referred to physical and mental quickness. A “snell remark” showed a quick wit. But that keenness spread to a different sort of sharpness: the severity or crispness of bitter weather. An 1822 use from Blackwood’s Edinburgh Magazine uses this sense: “The wintry air is snell and keen.”

9. TETRICAL

The Latinate term for bitterness and harshness of various sorts appears in José Francisco de Isla's 1772 book The History of the Famous Preacher Friar Gerund de Campazas, describing some non-sweet folks: "Some so tetrical, so cross-grained, and of so corrupt a taste." A similar meaning is shared by the also-rare terms tetric, tetricity, tetricious, and tetritude. Thankfully, there is no relation to the sweet game of Tetris.

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