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Old January 11 2013, 01:26 AM   #8
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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.
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