Spock's Vocabulary

Discussion in 'Star Trek - The Original & Animated Series' started by ZapBrannigan, Sep 20, 2013.

  1. ZapBrannigan

    ZapBrannigan Commodore Commodore

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    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." :alienblush:

    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?
     
  2. Greg Cox

    Greg Cox Admiral Premium Member

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    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!)
     
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2013
  3. Silvercrest

    Silvercrest Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    ^#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!"
     
  4. Warped9

    Warped9 Admiral Admiral

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    Yes, I think it did have an effect on my vocabulary and grammar. That and my enjoyment of reading.
     
  5. Greg Cox

    Greg Cox Admiral Premium Member

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    Trust me, I was well beyond Sunday school when Spock came from the dead! Heck, I was past college! :)
     
  6. Metryq

    Metryq Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    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!")
     
  7. Warped9

    Warped9 Admiral Admiral

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    :wtf: :lol:

    Yeah, why could anyone need an education?
     
  8. DrCorby

    DrCorby Commander Red Shirt

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    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!" :rommie:
    Yeah, I ran around with THAT kind of crowd...
     
  9. plynch

    plynch Commodore Commodore

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    I gotta get back into Sturgeon. Thanks for reminding me, Mr. Cox. He is so . . . humane.
     
  10. Timewalker

    Timewalker Cat-lovin', Star Trekkin' Time Lady Premium Member

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    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. :(

    Most people don't read enough. Spock and a house with 5000 books in it seems perfectly normal to me.
     
  11. scotpens

    scotpens Vice Admiral Admiral

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    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.
     
  12. Odona Kirk

    Odona Kirk Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Don't forget "inculcate" (The Galileo Seven).
     
  13. Forbin

    Forbin Admiral Admiral

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    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.
     
  14. Happy Xmas (War Is Over)

    Happy Xmas (War Is Over) Fleet Admiral Premium Member

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    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.
     
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2013
  15. publiusr

    publiusr Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    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.
     
  16. ZapBrannigan

    ZapBrannigan Commodore Commodore

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    Thanks. The missing word is "a". :)
     
  17. Metryq

    Metryq Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    ^ A smarter kid, but not a better typist. Spock never typed, anyway. Neither did Scotty.

    "Hello, computer..."
     
  18. plynch

    plynch Commodore Commodore

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    Encyclopedias! 1969 World Book my parents sacrificed for, because a proper house had an encyclopedia set for the children. With the see-through overlay anatomy pages. I also liked countries and military insignia - the orderliness thereof, I think.
     
  19. BennieGamali

    BennieGamali Commander Red Shirt

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    My English vocabulary is in some ways better than my Norwegian one. But I think the credit for that goes to books and the internet. I also write a lot of stories in english and use a synonym thesaurus to find the exact words I would like. I wouldn't say i'm any smarter than anyone else just because I know more words though..
     
  20. Forbin

    Forbin Admiral Admiral

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    I said out, dammit!
    My folks bought an ecyclopedia set when I was born too. So did my wife's, and she still has her books! Though a lot has happened since 1956 that they don't cover. :lol: