Egad! Qab Vav!

Geekery, WTF?

When you become a parent, you realize that the most innocent or unreflective things you do can scar your kids for life and turn them into socially stunted and emotionally crippled mock-adults, suited only to become shambling hobos, circus freaks, lawyers, and bloggers.

It gets easier once you shrug and decide to lean into it. Certainly your conversations with them get more entertaining. I've learned not to be worried that my son has concluded based on my teachings that Jesus has infravision and that the apostles were elephants. (Don't ask.)

But when it comes to screwing up kids, I'm an amateur. d'Armond Speers [sic] is a professional.

d'Armond Speers spoke only Klingon to his child for the first three years of its life.

. . .

"I was interested in the question of whether my son, going through his first language acquisition process, would acquire it like any human language," Speers told the Minnesota Daily. "He was definitely starting to learn it."

This would make an excellent serial killer origin story. Really, I can't think of a way to mess up a kid more. Maybe if you only taught him English phrases like "please give me a swirlie immediately" and "yes, I am a catamite."

So QaQ ta'pu', d'Armond. Your actions will please our co-blogger Ezra, who is always looking for ways to make libertarians blanch and say "well, shit, even we wouldn't allow THAT."

Last 5 posts by Ken White

11 Comments

10 Comments

  1. Al  •  Nov 18, 2009 @1:33 pm

    I can only assume this story killed the Klingon translator.

  2. Chris  •  Nov 18, 2009 @1:49 pm

    Small world. I took a number of college classes from one of the founders of Ultralingua.

  3. eddie  •  Nov 18, 2009 @2:06 pm

    I'm giving serious consideration (no, not really, I mean not really really) to learning the constructed language Toki Pona and speaking it around the kids, although not exclusively.

    It's been said that learning more than one language from a very early age makes it easier to acquire multiple languages later in life. Now, this could be bullshit from the type of people that like to make up languages, but if true, adding a minimalist-by-design language like Toki Pona might be a good way to do that.

    Plus, the world needs more hobos and circus freaks.

  4. Matt Raft  •  Nov 18, 2009 @2:16 pm

    Ken, once again, you have made my day. While I feel sorry for the guinea pig, er, kid, your post deserves one word: Quapla!

  5. Andrew  •  Nov 18, 2009 @2:28 pm

    There's a reason it's call the W(h)orf Hypothesis.

  6. Jag  •  Nov 18, 2009 @3:16 pm

    Hell, it could have been much worse, he could have used Tamarian.

  7. Jdog  •  Nov 18, 2009 @5:01 pm

    Or French.

    More seriously: learning another language, even Klingon, is a Good Thing, IMHO. Interfering with the kid learning English? Well, nah. At all.

  8. Chris  •  Nov 19, 2009 @8:14 am

    If you work your way back through the links and summaries, it doesn't say that both parents spoke Klingon exclusively. Having one parent speak one language and the other parent speak a different language is a pretty common way of raising a bilingual small child. Doing it with a constructed language is pretty useless as far as giving the kid skills, but is interesting from a linguistics standpoint – Klingon doesn't have any native speakers, so you wonder about irregular verbs, etc.

    Also, this happened many years ago and the kid is fine.

  9. Rougman  •  Nov 19, 2009 @11:48 am

    I'll bet that Klingon diet was a bitch on the intestines.

  10. PatrickKelley  •  Nov 19, 2009 @5:58 pm

    Yeah, I didn't really think it was that big a deal either, for all the reasons Chris said above. That being said, I can never pass up the opportunity to troll a bunch of Trekkies, so I gave them all a virtual wedgie. I figure if they love Klingons that much, they must really adore me right about now.

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