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Please, listen to the dialogue! After Tain lists three people that "can't be trusted" and Garak answers that he's taken care of them, Tain then asks whether Garak's contacted Gul Vorlem. Garak replies, "Years ago." How does contacted translate into killed?! The implication is that Gul Vorlem was somebody Tain did trust.

I'm correcting this. The preceding unsigned comment was added by MultiplePOV (talk • contribs).

No, take a look at the complete dialogue, the context implies, that by "contacting", Garak and Tain mean "kill":
TAIN: Surjak, Memad, Brun... they can't be trusted. They must be dealt with.
GARAK: I've already taken care of it.
TAIN: What about Gul Vorlem? Have you been able to contact him?
GARAK: Years ago.
TAIN: The Romulan ambassador?
GARAK: Gone. All of your enemies are dead.
TAIN: Good. A man shouldn't allow his enemies to outlive him.
GARAK: Then you can die happy.

--Jörg 18:05, 21 May 2008 (UTC)

Oh, good grief. The fact that Garak says all his enemies are dead at the end of a conversation where Tain wants to put his affairs in order does not imply that a "contact" is an assassination. Show me one usage reference where "contact" means this. It's less of a stretch to think that Tain might have one or two associates he trusted. In fact, the implication to me is that Gul Vorlem was the contact for Garak with the Romulan ambassador who Garak then killed. My edit indicated that the relationship is not explained--which is truer than the assumptions there previously.MultiplePOV 18:12, 21 May 2008 (UTC)

Yeah, why on Earth would they mention the name of someone they simply wanted to "contact" sandwiched inbetween "they must be dealt with" and "all of your enemies are dead"? --Alan
Accessing... Ah! A euphemism. Doublespeak. Equivocation. A double-entendre. The prevarication of language to render cryptic the literal meaning, nevertheless conveying subtext permitting effective communication. Data

Well, using the actual dialogue--"contact"--rather than leaping to the conclusion of assassination preserves the original intention: ambiguity. Every other "euphemism" Garak and Tain use in the exchange is well-established as meaning "kill"--"dealt with," "taken care of," "gone" and the more direct "dead"--but certainly, you're free to assume they had their own little pet doublespeak, "contact," that they liked to use just to vary their conversation (despite the utter confusion--and embarassing murders to clean up--this would cause with their Obsidian Order associates every time they asked Garak to "contact" someone in the sense that that word is usually used in the world of espionage). Retaining the edit that perserves the actual dialogue leaves you free to do so. MultiplePOV 18:39, 21 May 2008 (UTC)

Which would pretty much only make sense if you actually noted the quote as a quote to indicated what was being said was a quote which could be intrepreted as double talk, versus a "pick up a phone and make a call"-type "contact". --Alan 18:46, 21 May 2008 (UTC)

Again, "contact" does have an established meaning for spies and it's not the meaning established for "dealt with," "taken care of" and "gone." (At least we're not arguing sexual connotations for every word.) But unless quoting the entire exchange of dialogue in the article is acceptable, you can't in good conscience do more than use the actual word "contact" without interjecting personal interpretation and assumption. My original edit indicated that the relationship between Tain and Vorlem is not explained further which at least jogs the reader to think more than one interpretation is possible--but someone took this out. MultiplePOV 19:02, 21 May 2008 (UTC)

I feel it didn't quite do enough jogging, unless, MultiplePOV, you're arguing that the implication of assassination is just absolutely not present at all in that conversation? You DID leave out of your original edit any mention of the possibility, but I think that to do so is a disservice to the readers. The thing to be done here might be to allow the reader to judge for themselves, but they'll need a little more context. Like so:
  • Vorlem was a Cardassian gul. In 2373, Enabran Tain, the former head of the Obsidian Order, on his deathbed, in the middle of a conversation about the necessity to "deal with" all his enemies, asked Elim Garak, his former operative, whether he had "contacted" Gul Vorlem. Garak replied, "Years ago", subsequently confirming that all Tains enemies were by now dead indeed. (DS9: "In Purgatory's Shadow")
Alternatively, why not treat this in exactly the same way as Romulan Ambassador. TribbleFurSuit 20:00, 21 May 2008 (UTC)

Yeah, I am arguing that there is no implication that "contact" (again, a word with a well-established meaning in the world of espionage) means "assassination"--but I'm only arguing that here on this talk page (i.e., wouldn't dream of imposing my interpretation that Gul Vorlem was the contact through which Garak gained access to the Romulan ambassador that he made "gone"). Your edit goes in the right direction of raising other possibilities (as absurd as they may be) but a bit too far by putting the word "contacted" (not actually a quote from the episode, by the way) in quotation marks as if it's unequivocally a suspect word and going directly to the thought that Tain's enemies were all dead and adding the personal emphasis "indeed." And "deal with"--again, not a direct quote--doesn't really need quotation marks. How about

  • "Vorlem was a Cardassian gul. In 2373, Enabran Tain, the former head of the Obsidian Order, on his deathbed, in the middle of a conversation about the necessity of dealing with his enemies, asked Elim Garak, his former operative, "What about Gul Vorlem? Have you been able to contact him?" Garak replied, "Years ago." Garak then confirmed that the Romulan ambassador and all of Tain's enemies were dead." (DS9: "In Purgatory's Shadow")

by the way, Vorlem is not the Romulan ambassador. Two different characters. A writer in description interchanges people's names with tags to describe them. In conversation, one doesn't. MultiplePOV 21:09, 21 May 2008 (UTC)

No one ever said he was the Romulan ambassador, hence why the other character was linked. What was the (i assume) rhetorical of writing the Vorlem article was we wrote for the section on the Romulan ambassador, especially one with the exclusively Cardassian title of Gul.
So, as this yet classic "dead-horse beatin', mountain out of molehill" scenario drags on, from what started out as a painfully obvious to all here, but one, reference, to what was being said, let's look at this once more:
Tain listed a bunch of people (whom are clearly intended to be his enemies because that is the what the whole discussion is about) and Garak tells him that "all of your enemies are dead," which takes us into the next part of the discussion where Tain explains the concept of getting satisfaction from knowing the one thing that was most important to him before he died had been completed: that "his enemies" hadn't "outlive[d] him", and therefore he could "die happy." I don't understand why this needs to be so painfully over analyzed. --Alan 21:18, 21 May 2008 (UTC)

A painful analysis in which you are participating as well. The way to avoid more of it is not to appeal to argumentum ad populem but to quote from the dialogue, provide enough context to give the flavor without forcing an interpretation, and to leave out attempts to nudge the interpretation (misplaced quotation marks, for example). Any edits to my last edit? If not, can I insert it? MultiplePOV 21:38, 21 May 2008 (UTC)

To quote the official site, "[Vorlem was a] Cardassian officer who earned the enmity of Enabran Tain, head of Cardassia's feared Obsidian Order. In 2373, Garak dropped hints that he had murdered Vorlem." [1] This concludes this discussion. :) --From Andoria with Love 22:36, 21 May 2008 (UTC)
  • Is everyone happy (or at least "okay") with the way the article is now, or did ya'll want it back the way it was before? --From Andoria with Love 23:57, 21 May 2008 (UTC)

I'd agree that the Star Trek site should be the horse's mouth. And I must say that as a fan girl, I look forward to being able to add to Garak's biography on Memory Alpha--with the proper Star Trek site cite--that he was "enamored" of Ziyal. But I would suggest looking over just how badly a lot of the official site's biographies are written before deciding that all cherry-picking from them is legitimate. No, the context does not suggest "contact" is a euphemism for "assassinate"--it only suggests that as a possible interpretation to some people. The context of two spies talking just as easily suggests Vorlem was Garak's contact. Choosing one interpretation as final not only goes against what I thought a Wiki should be about--it rather destroys the art of Garak's and Tain's conversation. MultiplePOV 00:36, 22 May 2008 (UTC)

ok, I'm confused... since the discussion was about whether or not Tain's enemies were "taken care of," how is saying that Vorlem may have been killed destroying the "art" of the conversation? The whole discussion was about Tain wondering if he has any enemies left. Vorlem was part of Garak's line "all your enemies are dead." The context of the conversation does suggest Vorlem was killed, and the official site (written by people who actually worked on the shows) agrees with that. --From Andoria with Love 00:46, 22 May 2008 (UTC)
For starters, MultiplePOV: "Choosing one interpretation as final"? Don't point the finger at us, YOU'RE the one who's insisting on that. I must second Alan's statement, that everybody but you interprets it a certain way. I do give you credit for presenting an alternative interpretation. I actually find it credible, myself. Still, even though you, yourself, agree that "the original intention [was] ambiguity", you're refusing to allow indication of what the ambiguity might be. "Choosing one interpretation as final" is actually very often what happens here at MA. We build consensus, and sometimes minority positions lose.
Nevertheless: Your reply to my above proposal is noted. Thanks for considering it and I'm glad you feel it's in the right direction. I propose it again, fixing the issues you pointed out in my wording and use of quotes. I eliminated the quotes, and I also included the exact words that Jörg provided from a transcript:
  • Vorlem was a Cardassian gul. In 2373, Enabran Tain, the former head of the Obsidian Order, on his deathbed, in the middle of a conversation about the necessity to have all his enemies dealt with, asked Elim Garak, his former operative, whether he had been able to contact Gul Vorlem. Garak replied, "Years ago", subsequently confirming that all Tain's enemies were now dead. (DS9: "In Purgatory's Shadow")
I believe this allows the reader to form one's own impression, whether the "contact" yielded the Gul's murder or whether the "contact" instead resulted in the Romulan Ambassador's death. Whoever reads that would form an impression no different from what one would if one had seen the episode, because we introduce no interpretations of our own this way. TribbleFurSuit 02:49, 22 May 2008 (UTC)
I could go for that. Maybe separate the second sentence into two sentences; it's kind of comma overkill. ;) But, yeah, I could go with something like what your propose. --From Andoria with Love 10:44, 22 May 2008 (UTC)
  • Vorlem was a Cardassian gul. In 2373, Enabran Tain, the former head of the Obsidian Order, lay dying. During a conversation about the necessity to have all his enemies dealt with, he asked his former operative Elim Garak whether he had been able to contact Gul Vorlem. Garak replied, "Years ago", subsequently confirming that all Tain's enemies were now dead. (DS9: "In Purgatory's Shadow")
TribbleFurSuit 16:58, 22 May 2008 (UTC)

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