"to boldly go"

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Wed Jan 30 19:41:40 UTC 2008

At 2:02 PM -0500 1/30/08, Mark Mandel wrote:
>ISTM that as soon as you refer to Klingons, including asking whether
>Klingons qualify as "one", you have entered an sf universe of discourse. The
>possible referents of "(some/any/no) one", to me, are just about equivalent
>to the referents of "person". If you refer to Klingons at all, you are
>referring to sapients: individuals whose intelligence and personhood is of
>the same level as that of humans, and who (not "which") are therefore
>persons and therefore are included in "-one" references.
>Mark Mandel

That captures my imputation nicely (although when it comes to the sf
universe of discourse I am rather a stranger in a strange land
compared to denizens like M.A.M.).


>On Jan 30, 2008 12:19 PM, <RonButters at aol.com> wrote:
>>  Interesting question. If I said "No one has ever been in that dog house"
>>  could you properly say, "Wrong! MY dog has been in that dog house"? I
>>  don't think
>>  so. In other words, Klingons, being nonhuman, do not qualify as "one" any
>>  more
>>  than any other nonhuman (including your brilliant dog or even Noam
>>  Chimsky).
>>  Of course, since the world of science fiction is purely imaginary, one can
>>  imagine an alternative universe in which "one" refers either any humanoid
>>  being.
>>  Obviously, though, when the voice-over says, "... where no none has been
>>  before" the speaker does not mean to include nonhumans of any sort, since
>>  it is a
>>  given that there are other human-like creatures out there.
>>  On   the other hand, I guess I might not find very odd this sentence: "No
>>  one
>>  seriously challenged the human race except the Neanderthal."
>>  In a message dated 1/30/08 11:22:36 AM, laurence.horn at YALE.EDU writes:
>>  > Maybe so, but I'd think with a loss of accuracy, since if for example
>>  > a Klingon had ventured into some distant corner of the universe to
>>  > plunder, pillage, or whatever, that would satisfy the "no man/person
>>  > has gone before" clause but not the "no one has gone before" version.
>>  > The "no one" is a stronger claim than the original, as well as a more
>>  > sex-neutrally expressed one.
>>  >
>>  > LH
>The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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