LAST EDITED ON Mar-09-14 AT 02:18 PM (EDT)
>>and thinks "human" is a proper noun.
>Not surprising; I blame leakage from other media sources. I mean, just
>for example, if we're going by how the word is used in both the in and
>out of game literature, "Prothean" is apparently a proper noun; it's
>almost always capitalized, at least.
>I see "Klingon" and "Romulan" capitalized a lot in Star Trek
>sources as well, indicating proper noun status when it isn't being
>used as one.
>For that matter, "Gamilon" is capitalized more than once by the
>production team here in UF, even in contexts where it clearly isn't
>being used as a proper noun. I can find a couple examples of that just
>in a cursory check of S1M1.
I know I've explained this before, but: some species in UF are called by where they come from, others by the name their species had for itself before it understood that there were others. As a general thing, the former are capitalized, the latter are not. Thus, humans (from Earth and elsewhere), asari (from Thessia), etc., but Romulans (from Romulus), Gamilons (from Gamilon), and so forth. This is presumably why "Protheans" is capitalized - it's not technically the name of their species, per se, but the academic label for the civilization they were part of. It's like referring to particular ancient peoples of Earth as Minoans or what have you.
(As an aside, this means that if Diane Duane's Romulan word for Romulans is in fact a Romulan word for Romulans in the UF universe, it'd be rihannsu, not capitalized, though that does not accord with her usage. Similarly, Klingons are kind of an odd case because I'm sure the original assumption was that they were from a planet with that name or something close to it - virtually every other sapient species in Star Trek is called by the name of its home planet - but that ultimately turned out not to be the case.)
As it happens, one will occasionally see "klingon" being used as a non-proper noun, though when it's used that way it doesn't refer to the species, but rather in the context of "a person who has the klin in him". (It's used in this context, with the explicitly lower-case k, at least once in The Final Reflection.) In the days before spaceflight and multi-species awareness, the Klingons figured they were the only people who did, on account of they thought they were the only people, period. In latter days, it's used as a term of very high praise. Calling n non-Klingon (with a big K) "klingon" (with a small k), usually as part of the phrase, "Kai, klingon," is pretty much the highest compliment a Klingon (with a big K) can come up with.
Benjamin D. Hutchins, Co-Founder, Editor-in-Chief, & Forum Mod
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