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Old October 13 2012, 10:53 PM   #22
Albertese's Avatar
Location: Portland, OR
Re: exterior surface markings of Kirk's Enterprise

I think it's somewhat telling that the word "jettison" is used, rather than the word "launch."

In fact I just checked, and the word "jettison" (or "jettisoned") is said exactly ten times in the episode. The word "launch" is said exactly zero times in the episode.

"Launch" would suggest a planned operation with maybe a countdown and all the sundry ceremony that a preplanned operation would include. It's a controlled and coordinated process.

"Jettison," OTOH, at least to my thinking, is more in the family of words like "abort" and "eject" and such emergency contingency words.

Here's some synonyms from

1. abandon, reject, desert, dump, shed, scrap, throw out, discard, throw away, relinquish, forsake, slough off, throw on the scrapheap. "The government seems to have jettisoned the plan."
2. expel, dump, unload, throw overboard, eject, heave. "The crew jettisoned excess fuel and made an emergency landing."
The word comes from the Old English to throw burdensome weight over the side of a ship to lighten it. It's the same root for the word "jetsam" which is essentially ocean-going garbage. If the ion pod was being "launched" then why not use the word "launch" instead of the word for "oh-crap, get-this-thing-the-hell-off-my-ship-and-I-mean-right-now!"

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Last edited by Albertese; October 13 2012 at 11:03 PM.
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