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Go Back   The Trek BBS > Star Trek TV Series > The Next Generation

The Next Generation All Good Things come to an end...but not here.

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Old June 18 2013, 05:45 PM   #1
Khan Harrison
Ensign
 
The Traveler's name

In Where No One has gone before the Traveler tells Riker that his name is not pronouncable by humans.

Why didnt Riker just say "why dont you just say it for us then, so we know what it sounds like?"
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Old June 18 2013, 05:47 PM   #2
QuarkforNagus
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Re: The Traveler's name

"In order to pronounce it properly, we would have to cut out your tongue."

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Old June 18 2013, 05:52 PM   #3
Pavonis
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Re: The Traveler's name

Khan Harrison wrote: View Post
In Where No One has gone before the Traveler tells Riker that his name is not pronouncable by humans.

Why didnt Riker just say "why dont you just say it for us then, so we know what it sounds like?"
Maybe the proper pronunciation of the Traveler's name involves sounds that are out of the range of human hearing. Or maybe his name was a particular shade of infrared or ultraviolet that humans can't see. In either case, "pronouncing his name" would leave everyone no more informed about his name than just saying it is unpronounceable.
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Old June 18 2013, 06:05 PM   #4
GalaxyX
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Re: The Traveler's name

Isn't this a typical Sci-Fi trope? The alien's name who is unpronounceable to humans.

They did this with Spock in TOS as well. If I remember correctly, his Vulcan name is supposed to be unpronounceable. It seems they dropped that idea pretty quickly though. I'm surprised it survived to TNG.
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Old June 18 2013, 06:08 PM   #5
Pavonis
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Re: The Traveler's name

It's a trope for a reason. The idea that aliens would use the same phonemes as all human languages would be unrealistic.
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Old June 18 2013, 09:44 PM   #6
Sran
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Re: The Traveler's name

Khan Harrison wrote: View Post
Why didnt Riker just say "why dont you just say it for us then, so we know what it sounds like?"
Because whenever people hear a name that's unusual, they try to pronounce it even if they can't. My name is Indian, and people frequently get it wrong even though it's not hard to pronounce.

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Old June 18 2013, 09:57 PM   #7
Timo
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Re: The Traveler's name

Exactly. For all we know, the name of Spock that humans could never pronounce correctly was "Spock", and Spock had just learned to control his grimace reflex whenever Kirk butchered the word...

Timo Saloniemi
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Old June 18 2013, 09:59 PM   #8
Sran
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Re: The Traveler's name

Timo wrote: View Post
Exactly. For all we know, the name of Spock that humans could never pronounce correctly was "Spock", and Spock had just learned to control his grimace reflex whenever Kirk butchered the word...
You might be onto something, Timo. Maybe that's why he went through the Kolinahr.

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Old June 18 2013, 10:47 PM   #9
R. Star
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Re: The Traveler's name

Khan Harrison wrote: View Post
In Where No One has gone before the Traveler tells Riker that his name is not pronouncable by humans.

Why didnt Riker just say "why dont you just say it for us then, so we know what it sounds like?"
It's just a random plot device to make this guy seem that much more alien. That's all. As if the funny forehead and creepy looks weren't clue enough.
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Old June 18 2013, 11:01 PM   #10
Crazyewok
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Re: The Traveler's name

Khan Harrison wrote: View Post

Why didnt Riker just say "why dont you just say it for us then, so we know what it sounds like?"
Because the actor is human and cant pronounce it either
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Old June 18 2013, 11:02 PM   #11
Sran
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Re: The Traveler's name

^

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Old June 19 2013, 01:32 AM   #12
Leviathan
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Re: The Traveler's name

...actually....not far off! The Traveler was in humanoid form thus maybe couldn't pronounce it.

...or he was just being a jackass. Either works.
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Old June 19 2013, 04:33 AM   #13
Mojochi
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Re: The Traveler's name

Unpronounceable by human standards could mean many things. Maybe it's ultra or infrasonic. Could be if he said his name, only dogs on the ship would hear it or Spot
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Old June 19 2013, 08:01 AM   #14
doctorfoto
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Re: The Traveler's name

Maybe he's just embarrassed by it, like his parents named him Blues Traveller or something.
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Old June 19 2013, 10:33 PM   #15
Doug Otte
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Re: The Traveler's name

I'll tell you a secret. His name is "Herbert."
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