Wednesday, July 20, 2005

The Stars Salute You!

Hoch QaQ gift je Hoch perfect gift ghaH vo' Dung, choltaH bIng vo' the vav vo' lights, tlhej 'Iv laH taH ghobe' variation, ghobe' turning QIb.

Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom can be no variation, nor turning shadow. James 1:17


A reading from the book of James - a fitting source as we pause to honor the memory of James Doohan. James Doohan, who faked a Scottish burr to create one of television's most endearing characters, Chief Engineer Montgomery (Scotty) Scott of the U.S.S. Enterprise, died today at the age of 85.

For this podcast, I want to take a break from our travels through Psalm 100 and offer a few words of thanks to the man who gave us the Klingon language, who gave us the words that are used in the Klingon Language Version.

Although the famous order, “Beam me up, Scotty”, was never given on the show, Doohan’s character, Montgomery Scott, became one of the most familiar, and most parodied, characters in TV history.

Whenever the USS Enterprise was pushed to the limits, he would famously cry: “The engines canna’ take it.” Reliable to the end, however, he ensured that they actually could take it.

But he did more than just create a loveable character. Coming from a background in radio, Doohan was skilled at voice work. In fact he used something like half a dozen different accents when auditioning as Scotty - but settled on the Scottish one since everyone knew a real engineer would have to be a Scot.

Using his considerable vocal skills, Doohan devised the Vulcan and Klingon language dialogue heard in Star Trek: The Motion Picture. Later, professional linguists, particularly Mark Okrand, expanded Klingon into a fully constructed language with a working grammar.

Although Klingon became refined by others, Doohan can be credited with formulating the world’s most popular artificial language — Shakespeare and parts of the Bible have been translated into it - a fact that is no doubt familiar to listeners of this podcast.

As we offer our prayers and sympathies to the friends and family of James Doohan, let us give thanks to him for his gifts and the way he shared them with us.

nIvan Hovmey - the stars salute you,

we might say.

pItlho' 'ej joH'a'Daq bIlengjaj - we thank you, and may you go with God.

This podcast included text and information from TimesOnline, New York Times, and Wikipedia

1 comment:

scooter said...

A lovely memorial to a truly classy man. I was blown away to find he'd lost part of his right (?) middle finger during the D-Day landing at Normandy, and always managed to hide it onscreen...makes me want to watch every single TOS episode with my finger on the 'pause' button to see if they ever let it slide.
At any rate, thanks for your kind words for his family. They are certainly in our prayers at this difficult time. I certainly don't know anything about Mr. Doohan's spiritual beliefs, but being one of that "private about 'religion'" WWII generation, just like my father, I hope fervently that, despite a lack of a public declaration (that I'm aware of, anyway) we'll see him again.
Peace to you, my brother.