Cary L. Brown said:
There's no reason to treat a "torpedo" as a "dumbfire" weapon. BY DEFINITION, a torpedo is a guided device.
Who's definition? "Guided" is not a part of any definition I've seen, and it certainly hasn't been used that way in throughout history. At one point, torpedoes were what we now call mines. Here's what Merriam-Webster online has:
Etymology: Latin, literally, stiffness, numbness, from torpEre to be sluggish or numb -- more at TORPID
1 : ELECTRIC RAY
2 : a weapon for destroying ships by rupturing their hulls below the waterline: as a : a submarine mine b : a thin cylindrical self-propelled underwater projectile
3 : a small firework that explodes when thrown against a hard object
4 : a professional gunman or assassin
5 : SUBMARINE 2
So, "torpedo" BY DEFINITION does not rule out dumbfire weapons. In Trek practice, though, they seem to have limited guidance, or at least they're going too fast to turn effectively. Back to vulcan's question, I had always assumed that they were locking the torpedo's guidance systems into the target, not aiming the ship and/or tubes. Did they ever say specifically they were "aiming torpedoes" or something similar in the show, or was it more like "locking torpedoes"?