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Old August 23 2013, 06:14 AM   #16
BK613
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Re: Has "NCC" Ever Been Explained On Screen?

Why does it have to stand for anything? The U.S.S. on the hull has periods yet the NCC does not...
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Last edited by BK613; August 23 2013 at 06:16 AM. Reason: Dang posted at the same time as t_smitts
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Old August 23 2013, 08:52 AM   #17
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Re: Has "NCC" Ever Been Explained On Screen?

Nerys Myk wrote: View Post
Which edition of the Encyclopedia was that?
The "latest" one. (I'd say "current", but...for some strange reason, it hasn't been updated since DS9 ended. Suppose it had to do with the rise of the Net....)
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Old August 23 2013, 09:00 AM   #18
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Re: Has "NCC" Ever Been Explained On Screen?

Rush Limborg wrote: View Post
I recall they said it was "Navy Civil Catalogue". It flows well with what The Star Trek Encyclopedia says about it: "N" is for Navy, and "C" means "Civil"--that is, non-military.
Isn't that self-contradictory?
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Old August 23 2013, 02:24 PM   #19
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Re: Has "NCC" Ever Been Explained On Screen?

t_smitts wrote: View Post
I've of the opinion that the letters don't actually STAND for anything, as is the case with postal codes (the Canadian equivalent of zip codes, for those who don't know).
In American usage, the N doesn't stand for anything as far as I can tell; it's just the letter prefix used for United States craft. Some countries have prefixes that stand for the country name, like JA for Japan (although their own name for themselves is Nihon), but apparently not the US. However the second letter does usually stand for something. Commercial craft are NC, gliders are NG, etc. Experimental craft actually are N-X. Although the second letter isn't considered a part of the registration per se, just a category designator.


Not sure we'll ever get a sensible explanation of what the USS is. Yes, I know they may have said "United Space Ship" or "United Star Ship" at some point, but what exactly is united about it? Like the concept of no money and of synthehol, it may be best not to look at that too closely.
I take it as being short for United Federation of Planets Star Ship. Just as the American "USS" is short for "United States Ship."

Personally it bugs me that the usages of an interstellar, interspecies, multicultural Federation are really just American naval or aviation usages. But it's what we're stuck with.
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Old August 23 2013, 02:32 PM   #20
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Re: Has "NCC" Ever Been Explained On Screen?

Probably a hold-over from UESPA - United Earth Space Probe Agency. When the United Federation of Planets was formed, they likely preserved the "U" for that very reason.

As for the NCC - BK613 gave a good point that honestly never occurred to me in the almost 40 years I've been watching Star Trek. "U.S.S." has periods, implying an abbreviation. "NCC" does not.

Holy shit...something just occurred to me...in TOS, have we ever seen anything other than Connies with a registry number? Could not the "CC" in NCC stand for "Constitution Class"? What if the USS Reliant should have been "NMC-1864" for "Miranda Class"? I know that was before "Miranda" was ever assigned as a class name (a name which I never liked to begin with), but is it possible that the letters in the registry could indicate the class name? It's likely an interesting coincidence, but still...
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Old August 23 2013, 02:38 PM   #21
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Re: Has "NCC" Ever Been Explained On Screen?

137th Gebirg wrote: View Post
in TOS, have we ever seen anything other than Connies with a registry number?
Yes, quite often actually. All Enterprises, for example, even the later models like the B, C, D and E (none of which were Constitution class).
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Old August 23 2013, 02:44 PM   #22
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Re: Has "NCC" Ever Been Explained On Screen?

^He said "in TOS"...but FWIW, I don't think that in TOS, it had even been established that the Enterprise was a "Constitution-class" vessel...the dedication plaque said "Starship Class".
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Old August 23 2013, 03:17 PM   #23
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Re: Has "NCC" Ever Been Explained On Screen?

^ There's also the starship status chart in "Court-Martial". It listed a lot of NCC numbers, but gave no names or classes.
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Old August 23 2013, 03:24 PM   #24
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Re: Has "NCC" Ever Been Explained On Screen?

The Old Mixer wrote: View Post
^He said "in TOS"...but FWIW, I don't think that in TOS, it had even been established that the Enterprise was a "Constitution-class" vessel...the dedication plaque said "Starship Class".
IIRC, there was a discussion a while back here about when "Constitution Class" became a thing in TOS, and it seemed to be a contemporary term with the production of the show, I think even appearing in one of the bibles or draft scripts. I believe it was shown on-screen several times looking at Scotty's technical journals. It may have also been on Khan's screen in SS as well. Despite the "Starship Class" on the plaque, Constitution was still being used at the same time, and interchangeably, and is canonical. Agreed, though, that nobody ever "said" it, in dialog, until later (movies, TNG).
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Old August 23 2013, 03:26 PM   #25
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Re: Has "NCC" Ever Been Explained On Screen?

137th Gebirg wrote: View Post
Probably a hold-over from UESPA - United Earth Space Probe Agency. When the United Federation of Planets was formed, they likely preserved the "U" for that very reason.
Except we know from Enterprise that Earth Starfleet, which was eventually established as being affiliated with or part of UESPA, didn't use the "USS" designator on its ships. NX-01 wasn't USS Enterprise, it was just Enterprise. So the USS usage only began after the Federation was founded.


...something just occurred to me...in TOS, have we ever seen anything other than Connies with a registry number? Could not the "CC" in NCC stand for "Constitution Class"? What if the USS Reliant should have been "NMC-1864" for "Miranda Class"? I know that was before "Miranda" was ever assigned as a class name (a name which I never liked to begin with), but is it possible that the letters in the registry could indicate the class name? It's likely an interesting coincidence, but still...
In TOS per se, the 1966-69 live-action television series, I don't think we did. But the animated series showed us ships of other classes with NCC numbers, like the USS Huron NCC-F1913 (called "SS Huron" in dialogue) and the robot frieghter NCC-G1465. In the movies, the Epsilon IX comm chatter in TMP mentioned the scouts Columbia NCC-621 and Revere NCC-595. And of course in later TOS-cast movies we saw the Reliant NCC-1864, Excelsior NCC-2000 (nee NX-2000), Grissom NCC-638, etc.


The Old Mixer wrote: View Post
^He said "in TOS"...but FWIW, I don't think that in TOS, it had even been established that the Enterprise was a "Constitution-class" vessel...the dedication plaque said "Starship Class".
The name originally comes from the script for "Space Seed," and a graphic labeled "Constitution Class" was made for that episode, but not seen onscreen until "The Trouble With Tribbles" and not fully legible even then. The name was known from fan sources for decades, but it wasn't until TNG's "The Naked Now" that the TOS Enterprise was explicitly confirmed as Constitution class.
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Old August 23 2013, 03:28 PM   #26
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Re: Has "NCC" Ever Been Explained On Screen?

Christopher wrote: View Post
However the second letter does usually stand for something. Commercial craft are NC, gliders are NG, etc. Experimental craft actually are N-X. Although the second letter isn't considered a part of the registration per se, just a category designator.
I would note the US abandoned the second designation letter around 1950.

I take it as being short for United Federation of Planets Star Ship. Just as the American "USS" is short for "United States Ship."
Yes, but when they actually say it, they say "United Star Ship," which has always sounded odd to me. As if various disparate elements of starship-ness were now combined in one vessel.
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Old August 23 2013, 03:59 PM   #27
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Re: Has "NCC" Ever Been Explained On Screen?

^People use shorthand and elisions, because people are lazy. It probably started out (in-universe) as "United Federation Space Ship" but people started glossing it to "United Space Ship" because it was easier to say and because it was a better fit to the initials.
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Old August 23 2013, 04:20 PM   #28
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Re: Has "NCC" Ever Been Explained On Screen?

Rush Limborg wrote: View Post
Nerys Myk wrote: View Post
Which edition of the Encyclopedia was that?
The "latest" one. (I'd say "current", but...for some strange reason, it hasn't been updated since DS9 ended. Suppose it had to do with the rise of the Net....)
The last print version I have (1994) makes no mention of "NCC" standing for anything. Just that it its attached to Starfleet vessels. I had a CD Rom version, but it doesn't work on my computer.
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Old August 23 2013, 04:22 PM   #29
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Re: Has "NCC" Ever Been Explained On Screen?

Christopher wrote: View Post
^People use shorthand and elisions, because people are lazy. It probably started out (in-universe) as "United Federation Space Ship" but people started glossing it to "United Space Ship" because it was easier to say and because it was a better fit to the initials.
True, but one would think that in an official proceeding ("Court Martial") or a first introduction to a stranger on an alien planet ("Squire of Gothos"), one would use the full title and not go the lazy route.
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Old August 23 2013, 04:26 PM   #30
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Re: Has "NCC" Ever Been Explained On Screen?

^It's TV. They made stuff up. We can try to rationalize it as best we can, but it's not like it's actually going to form a cohesive reality. Sometimes you just have to squint a little.
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