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Old September 21 2012, 01:13 PM   #16
DarKush
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Re: Need help with a TOS fan fic

Technobabble is one of the things that always gives me trouble. I often check out the websites Memory Alpha and Memory Beta to get information.
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Old September 25 2012, 10:25 PM   #17
The Badger
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Re: Need help with a TOS fan fic

As has been pointed out TOS made very little use of technobabble, it being a product of later versions of Trek. In his autobiography James Doohan claims he argued against Scotty's use of technobabble in 'Relics', on the grounds that neither Scotty nor real life engineers talked like that. He was told that Rick Berman likes it, and that was the final word.

So to capture the TOS style, keep it short and simple: "Aye, I said an hour, but I thought the conduit had just burnt out. Turns out it'd overloaded, fusing the distributor entirely. Whole thing's got to be hauled out an' replaced. That's a six to eight hour job to begin with, an' it' take just as long to bring it up to operatin' temperature. An' that's if we rush things, an there's no delays. I'm sorry Mister Spock, but I just canna do it faster than that."
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Old September 26 2012, 08:54 AM   #18
RB_Kandy
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Re: Need help with a TOS fan fic

Well I have completely written past the scene I was needing help with. And I would have had this fan fic written weeks ago if it weren't for my health taking a turn for the worst.

I hear some of you saying technobabble isn't a good thing, and I agree. But I wanted to put Scotty in a scene. And I wanted Spock to come to engineering and have him and Scotty exchange dialogue. Now obviously they aren't going to talk about philosophy, they're going to talk about getting warp engines online, and the technobabble being just padding between some whimsical moments and banter.

It is my belief that technobabble makes for good padding, but makes a horrible plot device.

I also think technobabble can be used for a bit of comedy. such as:
Kirk gets on the intercom and asks Scotty how the progress is going. Scotty whips out an enormous line of nonsensical technobabble. Kirk says "Good good. But what about the quantum defibrillator? is it running."
Scotty says puzzled "uh, aye sir, it's working fine."
"Glad to hear it, Kirk out."
And one of the crewmen overhears and says "wow Captain, you've studied quantum warp mechanics?"
Kirk smiles and says "No, actually I have no idea what the quantum defibrillator is. For all I know Scotty made it up. I just like to ask questions. Makes it seem like I'm on his tail, to keep him busy."
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Old September 26 2012, 06:26 PM   #19
Timewalker
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Re: Need help with a TOS fan fic

RB_Kandy wrote: View Post
It is my belief that technobabble makes for good padding, but makes a horrible plot device.
Technobabble that does nothing to advance (or at least enhance) the plot or characterization is just alphabet soup. It's not good padding, and it's definitely not good reading.

One of the best instances of TOS technobabble I ever saw was where Scotty told Kirk that something had gone "haywire." Kirk replied, "'Haywire' is not an acceptable engineering term, Mr. Scott." So Scotty explained the situation in more normal terms, but it wasn't full of meaningless babble.
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