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-   -   I think Data just doesn't LIKE to use contractions. (http://www.trekbbs.com/showthread.php?t=199918)

TroiFan4ever January 10 2013 08:46 PM

I think Data just doesn't LIKE to use contractions.
 
I think Data can actually use contractions. He just doesn't want to. He even does occasionally.

I remember one of his very first lines in "Encounter at Farpoint" had a contraction.

In "Genesis" if you listen close enough, Data said "She's no longer human." (When he and Picard discover the Amphibian Troi).

I even remember in "Datalore" when Tasha and the others check on him after he and Wes managed to get Lore out of the cargobay, he CLEARLY said "I'm fine."

I remember I kept watching that again, trying to listen for "I am fine" but he definately said "I'm".

So, what's with Data and not using contractions when even Lore in "Datalore" used contractions.

R. Star January 10 2013 09:00 PM

Re: I think Data just doesn't LIKE to use contractions.
 
He's been busted on this in a number of other episodes as well, I'm sure someone else can provide a full list if there's really a need.

It was just a plot device for that single episode they didn't really think through coupled with the human imperfection of both the actor using one by reflex and not thinking about it and the director and staff hearing one and by reflex not thinking anything of it.

It would've been funny if they pulled something like in Armageddon Game. Where Keiko sees a video of O'Brien's death and realizes it must be faked because he never drinks coffee in the afternoon. Well of course it was faked, but O'brien revealed at the end he did drink coffee in the afternoon and he was saved over a false assumption. :p

Christopher January 10 2013 09:52 PM

Re: I think Data just doesn't LIKE to use contractions.
 
"Datalore" isn't really the source of the problem. "Datalore" simply said that Data speaks more formally than Lore, that informal speech such as contractions doesn't come as easily to him. It was the later episodes "The Offspring" and "Future Imperfect" that implied he wasn't capable of it at all.

Seven of Five January 10 2013 09:56 PM

Re: I think Data just doesn't LIKE to use contractions.
 
If it was intended for Data not to use contractions, then I can just pretend that he never said any, and just smile when I notice that he's a stinking liar and does. :D

Draculasaurus January 10 2013 10:19 PM

Re: I think Data just doesn't LIKE to use contractions.
 
What kind of half-assed robot can't use contractions anyway?
They're in the dictionary, they're real words.
He either doesn't like to use them, or likes to lie about not being able to.

Christopher January 10 2013 11:44 PM

Re: I think Data just doesn't LIKE to use contractions.
 
Quote:

Draculasaurus wrote: (Post 7516540)
What kind of half-assed robot can't use contractions anyway?
They're in the dictionary, they're real words.
He either doesn't like to use them, or likes to lie about not being able to.

Actually some real people with autistic-spectrum conditions like Asperger's Syndrome prefer to use formal language. For instance:

http://www.iloveaba.com/2012/09/aspe...er-autism.html
Quote:

Aspie kids talk like very short adults- Due to a very concrete understanding of language and advanced verbal skills, Aspie kids select and use their words carefully. Their vocal affect may sound stilted, or as if they are reading a speech off of note cards. They avoid lazy communicating, such as using slang or contractions. Instead of saying “I’m gonna’ go to karate after school, yay!” they would say something like “When school is finished I have a karate class. I like karate very much, and I am excellent at it. There are 7 kids in my karate class. There is David, and there is Robert, and…..” Aspie kids also usually don’t know how to end sentences or switch topics, and will often keep talking about a particular topic even though the listener is showing absolutely no signs of listening.
Essentially Data's behavior in a lot of respects is very much like that of a person with Asperger's or high-function autism.

Trekker4747 January 10 2013 11:59 PM

Re: I think Data just doesn't LIKE to use contractions.
 
Quote:

Draculasaurus wrote: (Post 7516540)
What kind of half-assed robot can't use contractions anyway?
They're in the dictionary, they're real words.
He either doesn't like to use them, or likes to lie about not being able to.

I can see how using contractions could allude a robot, it can allude many humans since there are situations where a contraction doesn't work as well as its counterpart. But the impression I got was just that Data simply "didn't" use contractions rather than "couldn't." But the show took it pretty far in that latter direction at times suggesting Data was simply incapable by way of programming to use contractions, which could have just been another "flaw" Soong built into into the "Data Generation" of Soong-type androids to make them "less human" in order for them to not as easily scare the colonists.

Christopher January 11 2013 01:26 AM

Re: I think Data just doesn't LIKE to use contractions.
 
^As I said, you can find real analogies in the autistic spectrum. Data was built without emotions, and that's more complicated than simply not knowing how to laugh or cry. Emotion connects with other aspects of social interaction, abstract thinking, and so forth. Data sans emotion chip basically could be likened to a high-function autistic, someone who thinks in a more logical, literal, patterned way than most people and isn't as adept at abstractions or fuzzy thinking like slang, elided or contracted words, metaphors and figures of speech, or an emphasis on how things feel over what they mean. It all ties together, really.

Indeed, in recent years we've come to understand that the whole stereotype of the coolly rational intellectual, as embodied by characters like Data, Spock, Sherlock Holmes, the Professor from Gilligan's Island, etc., may actually be based on the behavior of people on the high-function end of the autistic spectrum (or who have what used to be called Asperger's Syndrome until last year). It's closely related to the stereotype of the robot or computer that doesn't understand human emotion, idioms, etc., and Data was an example of that stereotype (the character was basically a reworking of the title character from Roddenberry's failed pilot The Questor Tapes). So it's not really that surprising that the parallels exist.

sonak January 11 2013 01:28 AM

Re: I think Data just doesn't LIKE to use contractions.
 
it's a rather silly point. Even if it were a programming glitch or bug, wouldn't it be a relatively easy one for him or Geordi to fix?

Melakon January 11 2013 02:13 AM

Re: I think Data just doesn't LIKE to use contractions.
 
Geordi: Data, I'm going to adjust your fershlugginer chip so you can use contractions.
Data: Let's don't and say you did.

JirinPanthosa January 11 2013 02:39 AM

Re: I think Data just doesn't LIKE to use contractions.
 
I think the writers they had around in the first season of TNG just really sucked.

In fact, pretty much every first season episode I actually liked has the Maurice Hurley writing credit.

I could write an NLP program that can use contractions. Heck, I could practically do it in one line of code. str.replace(/can not/g, 'can\'t).replace(/will not/g, 'won\'t').etc. Data can interpret the exact meaning of complex grammar. I think Soong could manage that one line of code.

Squiggy January 11 2013 02:53 AM

Re: I think Data just doesn't LIKE to use contractions.
 
Quote:

TroiFan4ever wrote: (Post 7516081)
So, what's with Data and not using contractions when even Lore in "Datalore" used contractions.

From the episode The Offspring...


Quote:

DATA wrote: (Post 7516081)
There do seem to be variations on the quantum level. Lal can use contractions... I cannot..

And then this...

LAL
I've been programmed with a
listing of fourteen hundred and
twelve known beverages as well
as recipes for...

Data and Guinan react...

GUINAN
What'd did you just say...

LAL
I've been programmed with...

GUINAN
"I've"... ?

DATA
Lal, you used a verbal
contraction.

GUINAN
You said I've instead of I have.

DATA
It is a skill my program has never
mastered.

LAL
Then I will desist.

DATA
No. You have exceeded my
abilities. I do not object. I
just do not understand why it has
happened.


So...he can't.

Trekker4747 January 11 2013 03:33 AM

Re: I think Data just doesn't LIKE to use contractions.
 
Well, he cannot. ;)

scotpens January 11 2013 04:30 AM

Re: I think Data just doesn't LIKE to use contractions.
 
Quote:

Draculasaurus wrote: (Post 7516540)
What kind of half-assed robot can't use contractions anyway?
They're in the dictionary, they're real words.
He either doesn't like to use them, or likes to lie about not being able to.

Maybe he's a big fan of Damon Runyon. :)

Quote:

Aspie kids talk like very short adults- Due to a very concrete understanding of language and advanced verbal skills, Aspie kids select and use their words carefully. Their vocal affect may sound stilted, or as if they are reading a speech off of note cards. They avoid lazy communicating, such as using slang or contractions. Instead of saying “I’m gonna’ go to karate after school, yay!” they would say something like “When school is finished I have a karate class. I like karate very much, and I am excellent at it. There are 7 kids in my karate class. There is David, and there is Robert, and…..” Aspie kids also usually don’t know how to end sentences or switch topics, and will often keep talking about a particular topic even though the listener is showing absolutely no signs of listening.
Going by that description, I could have been diagnosed with Asperger's syndrome when I was a kid -- if the diagnosis had existed then!

Trekker4747 January 11 2013 04:58 AM

Re: I think Data just doesn't LIKE to use contractions.
 
It was interesting how in the anniversary cast sit-down extra on the DVD Spiner mentioned how Data was seen as a "poster child" for people with Aspergers. I'd honestly never drawn that connection before, but now I think I can sort of see it.


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