Picard’s Tea Order Makes No Sense

Discussion in 'Star Trek: The Next Generation' started by HugeLobes, Jun 20, 2021.

  1. HugeLobes

    HugeLobes Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I know it doesn’t really matter. I know it sounds cool for Picard to bark: ‘Tea. Earl Grey. Hot.’

    But how does that make sense? Earl Grey is a type of tea. It wouldn’t realistically refer to anything except tea, so why does Picard feel the need to specify tea? Is he afraid of getting some Earl Grey wine or an Earl Grey donut? Ridiculous.

    Then there’s the ‘hot’. Earl Grey is not served cold. It’s my tea of choice, and let me tell you that not once have I been asked whether I take it hot or cold. I suppose you might get iced Earl Grey, but people usually refer to ‘iced tea’ and ‘tea’ separately. You’d be pretty miffed if you asked for a cup of tea and got some iced tea instead. You shouldn’t need to specify your tea should be hot.

    And what does ‘hot’ even mean? Like if you said this to someone at Starbucks, what would that tell them that a simple order of Earl Grey wouldn’t? Tea comes hot as standard. That’s information you can’t really do anything with. It’s too vague to act on. You’d either just tell the computer ‘Earl Grey’ or give some more exact instruction than ‘hot’.

    So maybe it’s some kind of Picard preference where he’s set his ‘hot’ to an exact temperature? But if it’s a preference, I’d ask again why he needs to bother saying the ‘tea’ bit. And since it’s his standard cup, surely if he was setting a preference then he’d make the wording simpler. Just saying ‘tea’ or ‘Earl Grey’ would give his default order with no need to specify temperature. This makes me think it isn’t some kind of preference he’s set.

    So, Picard should really just say ‘Earl Grey’. The ‘tea’ and ‘hot’ are completely useless. I suggest we all stop watching TNG until this madness is explained or a formal apology is penned by the writers.
     
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  2. Farscape One

    Farscape One Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Maybe Picard says it like that because he knows the quirks of ordering from a Starfleet replicator.

    Look at Tom Paris ordering his lunch in "CARETAKER". It took several tries before he got what he actually wanted, and by his own admission even THAT was terrible.

    So I think Picard orders it by type of drink/brand (for lack of a better term, I don't drink tea)/pre-set temperature.
     
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  3. Oddish

    Oddish Rear Admiral Fleet Captain

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    There might be some other food or drink that goes by Earl Gray in the 24th century. But I agree, Picard should at least specify a temperature. Something like "Tea, Earl Gray, 85 degrees." (185 Farenheit)
     
  4. F. King Daniel

    F. King Daniel Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Imagine his face if it came out as ice tea.
     
  5. HugeLobes

    HugeLobes Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    But then if that’s the case then he doesn’t seem to give enough information.

    Maybe, but this seems unlikely. It’s not like Earl Grey is really a flavour. Or perhaps bergamot oil was somehow one of the few things available during the post atomic horror, and now there is Earl Grey everything.
     
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  6. Oddish

    Oddish Rear Admiral Fleet Captain

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    Realistically, a conversation with the replicator would be something like...

    PICARD: "Give me a cup of Earl Gray."
    REPLICATOR: "There are 27 known substances with that name. Please specify."
    PICARD: "Earl Gray tea, hot."
    REPLICATOR: "Please specify a temperature between 0 and 100 degrees."
    PICARD (sighs): "Tea, Earl Gray, 82 degrees."
    (Steaming cup of tea materializes)
     
  7. Tosk

    Tosk Vice Admiral Admiral

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    He has to say it like that because if he says "Hot Earl Grey" the computer gives him saucy pictures of some old British dude.
     
  8. Boris Skrbic

    Boris Skrbic Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    It seems to be the way the writers thought you had to speak to a simplified (replicator) computer in the 1980s, like making selections from a menu: Tea / Earl Grey / Hot. If voice recognition was needed beyond formalized requests, it really had to start with “Computer”, which also feels dated.
     
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2021
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  9. Oddish

    Oddish Rear Admiral Fleet Captain

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    Lol :lol: I didn't need THAT picture in my head!
     
  10. StarMan

    StarMan Vice Admiral Premium Member

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    [​IMG]
     
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  11. Boris Skrbic

    Boris Skrbic Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    So what’s the fix? In S3 of PIC, gesture recognition should be used instead so Picard could merely pretend to hold a mug while reading a classic novel and Earl Grey tea, hot, would materialize in his hand (replication followed by site-to-site transport). As soon as the mug is empty, it would dematerialize back into raw matter.
     
  12. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Exactly. Or then he just utters "Fix me up" and gets what he wants.

    Alas, automation as 0f 2021 works exactly like Jean-Luc's uncooperative dispenser. You first need to define a category, then select an item from the category, and then give additional parameters (and then assure the automaton that no, you don't want any of the extras, and yes, that was it). "Gimme a bite" doesn't work at McDonalds or Subway, regardless of whether the automaton has a touchscreen or two legs and a smile.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  13. Lynx

    Lynx Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I think it's because the replicators are a bit cranky when it comes to what to order.

    Remember this scene from Star Trek Voyager's pilot episode Caretaker:

    PARIS: Tomato soup.
    COMPUTER: There are fourteen varieties of tomato soup available from this replicator. With rice, with vegetables, Bolian style, with pasta, with.............
    PARIS: Plain.
    COMPUTER: Specify hot or chilled.
    PARIS: Hot. Hot, plain, tomato soup.

    PARIS: Oh, fourteen varieties and they can't even get plain tomato soup right.


    I think that's the reason why Picard always orders tea the way he does.
     
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  14. UssGlenn

    UssGlenn Commodore Commodore

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    I think there is a default temperature for hot tea and Picard doesn't have an issue with that setting so he has no need to specify further. Plus it's only 4 syllables so saying a custom order name might actually take more time. it would probably be "Picard menu item one" and that's 7 syllables. Then any guest would ask him what he ordered and he'd have to say it anyway.
     
  15. Boris Skrbic

    Boris Skrbic Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    What if Picard actually orders all kinds of tea and we just don’t see it? In the series finale he can tell the difference apparently between Earl Grey and Darjeeling. Maybe Earl Grey is simply his preferred variety while on duty.
     
  16. Qonundrum

    Qonundrum Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Unless the Captain told the computer to define "hot" as 43 degrees C. I'm hoping it's C, or maybe not because 82 degrees C would not be comfortable... but it sure would be hot. Scalding to the touch and then some - yeeow!! :nyah::rofl:

    I miss the good old days where one didn't talk to the computer and it didn't foist BS and/or schizophrenic platitudes. Especially when it puts up as message saying "we have ran into a problem". Um, there's no "we"... but I digress. Did you know that mincemeat pie isn't always made with beef? But when they do I hope they cooked the beef properly first, don't want to get sick... /squirrelNeedingMooseMode
     
  17. Qonundrum

    Qonundrum Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Every time I look at one, I don't call it "computer". Granted, even George Carlin would wince over what I call it...

    :guffaw:

    Yeah, real computing isn't what it used to be...
     
  18. NCC-73515

    NCC-73515 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Perhaps it was required in his academy days to order it like that, and he's just used to saying it that way
     
  19. Oddish

    Oddish Rear Admiral Fleet Captain

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    Maybe a few buttons on the replicator, like those things on your car radio that let you choose the station, before you could just plug your phone into the stereo system and listen to whatever. Push button 1, it's hot Earl Gray. 2, and it's coffee and croissant (Picard's preferred breakfast). 3, and it's... I don't know, bouillabaisse or Yorkshire pudding or whatever British/French delicacy Picard likes.

    43 is just above body temperature. 82 might be a bit hot, though.
     
  20. valkyrie013

    valkyrie013 Commodore Commodore

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    Well, like computers today, there would be a "preference" file that would follow him, or even on a new ship would be on a chip or orders , not like it would be gigabytes of info.

    Even then, on his first order, the computer would ask the 20 questions and he'd say Tea, Earl Grey, hot, computer would ask what temp. He'd say 65 degrees, then the computer would ask if he wanted to save that temp. For the Hot setting, or he'd tell the computer to make that setting. And every time he'd ask that command, the computer would know unless he changed it by the order.

    Pretty sure the computer would have a saved preferences file for all crew. Tom ordering soup was probably the first time ordering on voyager so no preference was set up. Also why there are custom orders like herbal blend #3 etc.

    But picard could shorten the command to tea 1 or Earl Grey ...