Discussion in 'Star Trek - Original Series' started by JT Perfecthair, Sep 22, 2013.
He was literally reimbursing Starfleet for torn tunics.
This is hysterical. Decker forcibly takes over the ship from Spock, spends the few hours he's in the chair sending them all to what promises to be a horrible burning death, yet he still takes the time to sign some report. When the tons of mint flavored sugar sticks shows up (Decker's one indulgence) and Kirk demands to know who authorized it, he'll have another reason to curse the man.
When I was a Company Commander I was signing stuff all the time! Reports, awards, evaluations, inventories, etc.
Now as a Contracting Officer I am signing my name to even more paperwork!!!
It's actually games of noughts-and-crosses he plays with all the new Yeoman, scrabble he plays with McCoy (when he's not on the Bridge), and brain training games--when there's no new talent arrived on the ship.
He could be signing birthday cards...with a crew of 430, there'd be at least one per day on average.
That inspired me...
Serious answer - he probably has to review and sign / countersign ship department logs and the hardcopy of his captain's log / ships log. For example at my workplace, my manager and then admin have to sign off my weekly timesheets. Additionally, things like requisitions and damage would need to be signed for. It would appear that he prefers to do his admin work sitting in the captain's chair, rather than spend a couple of hours each day holed up in this office doing paperwork. Probably because 1) doing paperwork is boring and 2) he's already on the bridge in case of emergency.
In jest, he's probably dealing with the child support payments for all the fatherless children he has left around the galaxy.
It's not a misuse; evidently it's a new use.
The Oxford English Dictonary, since September of 2011 has included this definition of literally:
"Used for emphasis or to express strong feeling while not being literally true: I have received literally thousands of letters.'"
Perhaps he came up with the "There's no money in the future" schtick to get out of this....
Then it's a new misuse.
But that's a topic for a Grammar Nazi thread.
That doesn't prove it's a correct use. It proves that even The Oxford English Dictionary is not always right.
I think you misunderstand: the OED is descriptive, not prescriptive.
This is approximate from ememory, but one of my favorite bits on MASH:
RADAR (with large pile of forms): Sign here, and here, here, initial here, sign here...
BLAKE: Wait. why am I signing this one?
RADAR: To show that you initialed here instead of signing.
BLAKE: Radar, do you understand any of this?
RADAR: Oh, I try not to, Sir. It'd just slow things down.
Of course I understand that. The OED has always adjusted for changes in our language over time, as any dictionary should.
My point, though, is that just because the OED acknowledges the fact that people are now using the word "literally" in that way does not mean that it is now a correct usage. In fact, the fact that OED is descriptive, not prescriptive, makes that even more true. The editors of the OED are simply reflecting what people do; they are not making a judgment on whether it is correct or not.
My contention is that regardless of how many people use the word "literally" as a statement of emphasis rather than a statement of fact, they are still incorrect in that usage. If a million people suddenly decided that the word "red" now meant "blue" it would not make it so.
I had always presumed that, since he was usually signing while giving a log entry, he was sometimes signing off on the log so it could be officially sent to Starfleet. Other reasons would most likely be status reports from all departments, giving permission to perform requested acts from various departments (ie repairs, transfering officers from one department to the next, allowing weddings aboard ship, etc).
The latest results from his space herpes tests.
If those million people constitute a clear majority of the language community in question and the change doesn't prove to be a fleeting fad, then, actually, yes it would. That's just how language works.
Why do you think people today talk about 'gay men' without intending to convey any sort of general happiness about the men in question? Or talk about broadcasting in sentences that have nothing whatsoever to do with seeds?
Obviously, people who are used to the older meaning often have trouble accepting a newer one which seems contradictory - and there's of course no reason why they should have to accept it at all. But when you insist on saying 'blue' to a million people who are very settled in the term 'red', it's mainly your own time you're wasting, because they all understand each other just fine.
Lets rise up in protest at dictionaries giving in to yet another colloquialism. If literally now means well figuratively, does it also mean the old version of literally? Or is there a new word for that?
And while we're at it lets reinstate Pluto.
Separate names with a comma.