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Star Trek - Original Series The one that started it all...

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Old September 20 2013, 08:21 PM   #1
ZapBrannigan
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Spock's Vocabulary

Thanks to watching TOS from age 8 or so, my vocabulary was always considered above average. Needless to say, Spock gets most of the credit, although other characters would often have a great word for kids to learn as well.

"We narrowly averted an explosion..."
"Explosion is imminent!"
"Almost a symbiosis of some kind..."

Sometimes I'd get it wrong:

"Dr. McCoy has a plenitude of human weaknesses" sounded like planetude, which made perfect sense because it meant a whole planet's worth.

"I am what I am, Leila, and if there are self-made purgatories, then we all have to live in them."

"Mom, what's a pregatory?" And she said, "Um... use it in a sentence."

Anyway, Star Trek is much better for children than kid shows with childish vocabularies. Kids should be soaking up new words every day, but even in school now it's all dumbed down. You can't say minus or subtract, it has to be "take-away." That's poison to a child's intellectual growth.

Did ST make you smarter kid?
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Old September 20 2013, 08:31 PM   #2
Greg Cox
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Re: Spock's Vocabulary

Can't think of anything specific to Trek, but, sure, I learned all sorts of words from old sf movies, novels, and comic books:

1) FORBIDDEN PLANET was my introduction to Freudian theory. "Dad, what's a 'monster from the Id'?"

2) X-MEN comics: "Dad, what's a 'mutant'?"

3) DRACULA: "Dad, what are those wafer thingies Van Helsing is putting in Dracula's coffin?" (Yes, I learned about the concept of Holy Communion from Bram Stoker!)

4) MORE THAN HUMAN by Theodore Sturgeon: "Dad, what does 'gestalt" mean?" (I'm still a little fuzzy on that one!)
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Old September 20 2013, 08:35 PM   #3
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Re: Spock's Vocabulary

^#3 would mess things up when you learn about Jesus in Sunday school, though.
"He came back from the dead? Big deal! Dracula did that, and so did Spock!"
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Old September 20 2013, 08:40 PM   #4
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Re: Spock's Vocabulary

Yes, I think it did have an effect on my vocabulary and grammar. That and my enjoyment of reading.
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Old September 20 2013, 08:55 PM   #5
Greg Cox
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Re: Spock's Vocabulary

Silvercrest wrote: View Post
^#3 would mess things up when you learn about Jesus in Sunday school, though.
"He came back from the dead? Big deal! Dracula did that, and so did Spock!"
Trust me, I was well beyond Sunday school when Spock came from the dead! Heck, I was past college!
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Old September 20 2013, 10:42 PM   #6
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Re: Spock's Vocabulary

I remember a high school friend advising me, "Most people don't talk like that. Use smaller words." Spock, and a house with 5000 books in it may have been an influence.

(This same high school friend's dad loved to play the country hick. One day while watching TV at his house, there was an ad with a woman shampooing her hair in the shower. Dad quipped, "Hey, Glenny, we should get ourselves one of them big-screen TVs so we can see the whole picture!")
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Old September 20 2013, 10:55 PM   #7
Warped9
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Re: Spock's Vocabulary

Metryq wrote: View Post
I remember a high school friend advising me, "Most people don't talk like that. Use smaller words." Spock, and a house with 5000 books in it may have been an influence.

(This same high school friend's dad loved to play the country hick. One day while watching TV at his house, there was an ad with a woman shampooing her hair in the shower. Dad quipped, "Hey, Glenny, we should get ourselves one of them big-screen TVs so we can see the whole picture!")


Yeah, why could anyone need an education?
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Old September 21 2013, 12:55 AM   #8
DrCorby
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Re: Spock's Vocabulary

Metryq wrote: View Post
I remember a high school friend advising me, "Most people don't talk like that. Use smaller words." Spock, and a house with 5000 books in it may have been an influence.
I had a friend in high school who came up with a motto along those lines -- "eschew polysyllabic pseudoprofundity". Basically, "don't use big words to try to sound smart!"
Yeah, I ran around with THAT kind of crowd...
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Old September 21 2013, 03:42 AM   #9
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Re: Spock's Vocabulary

I gotta get back into Sturgeon. Thanks for reminding me, Mr. Cox. He is so . . . humane.
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Old September 21 2013, 05:22 AM   #10
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Re: Spock's Vocabulary

ZapBrannigan wrote: View Post
Thanks to watching TOS from age 8 or so, my vocabulary was always considered above average. Needless to say, Spock gets most of the credit, although other characters would often have a great word for kids to learn as well.
...

Anyway, Star Trek is much better for children than kid shows with childish vocabularies. Kids should be soaking up new words every day, but even in school now it's all dumbed down. You can't say minus or subtract, it has to be "take-away." That's poison to a child's intellectual growth.

Did ST make you smarter kid?
There is either a word or a punctuation mark missing in this sentence.

I had a preSpockian vocabulary before I started watching Star Trek when I was 12. Then it improved.

Unfortunately, it didn't help my math ability any.

Metryq wrote: View Post
I remember a high school friend advising me, "Most people don't talk like that. Use smaller words." Spock, and a house with 5000 books in it may have been an influence.
Most people don't read enough. Spock and a house with 5000 books in it seems perfectly normal to me.
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For some great Original Series fanfic, check out the Valjiir Continuum!
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Old September 21 2013, 05:53 AM   #11
Olive, the Other Reindeer
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Re: Spock's Vocabulary

Hell, I had a Spockian vocabulary when Mr. Spock was just a germ of an idea in Gene Roddenberry's brain. I was the only kid I knew who read the encyclopedia for fun.
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Old September 21 2013, 12:51 PM   #12
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Re: Spock's Vocabulary

Don't forget "inculcate" (The Galileo Seven).
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Old September 21 2013, 03:13 PM   #13
Forbin
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Re: Spock's Vocabulary

I dare say sci fi fans have bigger vocabularies than wrestling fans.

After a certain X-Files episode, I was able to use "obfuscate" and "inveigle" in a sentence.
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Old September 21 2013, 03:16 PM   #14
Santa Kang
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Re: Spock's Vocabulary

scotpens wrote: View Post
Hell, I had a Spockian vocabulary when Mr. Spock was just a germ of an idea in Gene Roddenberry's brain. I was the only kid I knew who read the encyclopedia for fun.
I did that,too. My family thought that was weird. But it' my Dad's fault, he's the one who told me to "look it up" when I had a question.
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Old September 21 2013, 07:52 PM   #15
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Re: Spock's Vocabulary

And Funk'n Wagnalls is such a good euphamism too.

I loved my old encyclopedia set. I'd keep place holders in the space exploration and tornado entries.

I admired Spock's love of language, and learned a little about astronomy. That moving to a galaxy was much much harder than going between stars, etc.
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