Certain types of errors crop up over and over in television shows and movies. Because of this, nitpickers have begun to adopt a specialized vocabulary. I thought it was time to begin formalizing these buzz words in one location. Here then is the ever-expanding, primary glossary of the Nitpickers Guild. (Last Update: June 5, 1997)
With the June 5, 1997 update I broke the Nitpickers Guild Glossary into two parts: Primary and Secondary. I also began a Pending Entries List for those submitted entries that didn't make the cut.
The 'Donut' Factor
Elliot Effect, The
The Montgomery Theory
The Parent Syndrome
The Q Rule
AHHA Acronym for "Another Half-Human Alien"
Submitted by Suzanne Eckhardt of Gatesville, TX who wrote, "Ever since Classic Trek, I have noticed that the vast majority of half-breeds are half human and half something else. Are we earthlings just prolific, or curious, or both? (Note from Phil: Just friendly, I guess!)
AOTW Acronym for "Alien of the Week"
Submitted by Mike Ballway of Evanston, IL. (Note from Phil: This is pretty self-explanatory as well!)
BANNED Acronym for "Bridge Access Never Never Ever
Submitted by Mark Blankenship of Greenville, TX who wrote, "Refers to the tendency of Star Fleet vessels to allow anyone to waltz into the command center of the ship. Examples are numerous but include ST:III, TNG's 'The Neutral Zone' and Voyager's season finale."
BASS Acronym for "Bad Alien Stereotype Syndrome"
Submitted by Mike Ballway of Evanston, IL who explained, "Disease that writers suffer from, and one of my favorite Glossary Terms yet. It's the old stereotype that all Klingons are Warriors, all Bajorans are freedom fighters, all Ferengi are unethical profiteers... And humans are the only psychologically diverse species. For once I'd like to see a Klingon wimp." (Note from Phil: Um . . . would Alexander qualify? Of course, he *is* one quarter *human*!)
Donald Carlson of Birmingham, AL wondered, "Have we all forgotten the sissy Klingon in 'Touble With Tribbles?!' Don't you remember McCoy scanning him saying something like 'Heart rate too high, internal organs all wrong . . . Jim, this man's a Klingon!'" (Note from Phil: True, but he might have just been acting like a wimp to fit in with the humans!)
BILC Acronym for "Because It Looks Cool"
Submitted by Walbert Ng who offered, "Various Sci-fi shows reuse special effects that were originally used on Star Trek to reduce their production costs and because it looks cool. For example, in STVI: The Undiscovered Country, Praxis, the Klingon Moon, exploded with a GREAT shock wave which grabs the viewers' attention. Recently, I saw a trailer for 'Powder' and the same shock wave was on a corn field. It still looks cool!"
(Note from Phil: I think we can also expand this term to items that are visually appealling but don't make sense. For instance, at the end of "The Sword of Kahless" (DS9), we see the bat'leth spinning through space. But wait: it was beamed off the runabout facing up. Wouldn't it materialize facing up? Why should it start spinning? BILC!)
BIMD Acronym for "Because It's More Dramatic"
Submitted by Mike Ballway of Evanston, IL who said "BIMD [is an] all-encompassing answer to many tech questions. Example: Why did Dax use the rope trick thing in 'Paradise' instead of beaming at warp? BIMD."
BIMOL Acronym for "But It's MY Only Line."
BISC Acronym for "Because It Sounds Cool"
Submitted by Steve Mack who noted in "Projections," "Barclay tells the Doctor that his neuro-cellular structures are being destroyed by the radiation. What types of neural structures are found in Humans which are not cellular? This is BISC--Because It Sounds Cool--technobabblish words which add nothing to the story, and yet aren't inherently wrong or otherwise nitpickable. Like using 'neuro-cellular' instead of 'neural' or saying 'kinoplasmic radiation' instead of 'radiation.'"
BITE Acronym for "Because It's Too Easy"
Submitted by E. Haughton Dansforth of Tempe, AZ who wrote, "This can be used to exaplain why simple things are not done as they are too easy and not quite dramatic enough. For example, the reason a photon torpedo is not transported onto the bridge/enginering/etc, at the onset of a battle when a ship has it's shields down long enough to fire (or in the case of a Bird of Prey, cloak/decloak). It would just have to be a computer function during red alert that when an enemy ship is detected with it's shields down, the explosives of your choice are transported.
BS Acronym for "Bad Science"
Submitted by Phil Farrand who defined it as "Any representation of a scientific principle that is false. For instance, in the movie Star Trek: Generations, the destruction of a star results in a change in the star's gravitational attraction before the loss of mass would cause this." (See review in The Nitpicker's Guide for Next Generation Trekkers, Volume II for more information)
An expansion on the term "cabbage-ism" by Phil Farrand to apply to the actor made to perform the cabbage-ism. In the example given under "cabbage-ism," Troi would be the "cabbage head."
Submitted by Elias S. Saltz of Oxford, OH who observed, "Many of the instances you site in which a primary character seems not to have a necessary bit of knowledge to do a job (i.e. Counselor Cleavage not knowing what a warp core breach is in `Disaster'), my fellow Trekkies and I have chalked up a `cabbage-isms,' explanations of things for all of the `cabbages in the audience.' The creators decided that many of their viewers would need to know certain facts in order to understand the story line, or have moderated many, many technical explanations into third-grade English. The easiest way to do this was to make some characters look like fools by asking questions that we non-cabbages are baffled that they don't know."
CBS Acronym for "Cute But Stupid."
Submitted by Thomas N. Beck of Cranbury, NJ who explained, "It is something seemingly cute but actually silly, unrealistic, illogical, nonsensical or otherwise ridiculous that is done strictly for dramatic effect. For example, Data is constantly misunderstanding human idioms, cliches, figures of speech etc. Wouldn't he have a built-in thesaurus of these things? He has practically unlimited memory and almost instantaneous data recall. In the time it takes him to blink he can summon up and digest entire tables of phrases and their meanings, including citations, examples of usage, contexts, etc. It's funny when he misses these and other aspects of human behavior, but it makes no sense. It's Cute But Stupid."
CODE Acronym for "Core Overload, Damaged Ejectors"
Submitted by Rob Sayer of Vancouver, British Columbia who asked, "Have you noticed that the saftey mechanism...the warp core ejection system... never seems to work when it is needed? On several occasions (Cause & Effect, Generations, Timescape, Parallels) it just acts as dead weight, which results in even deader crewpersons. Ironically, It is fine in all those level one shipwide diagnostics LaForge is notorious for, but when it comes down to the crunch, it fails every time. Call me idealistic, but I believe a failsafe system shouldn't fail every time..."
DEAD Acronym for "Data's Emotions Are Dangerous"
Submitted by Maria Gilmore who wrote, "While I don't believe we'll see any more examples of this syndrome in the future, I feel the two huge, glaring examples that exist are crying out for special recognition, indeed their own term. A variant of GGK, these instances seem to indicate an interesting cause-and-effect...when Data falls strongly under the sway of emotion, his first impulse is apparently to get his best friend's butt kicked, and good. The first time this happened was in the two-parter "Descent", when, apparently on the say-so of his big brother, the android placidly pokes holes in his best buddy's brain. This, after becoming in touch with his feelings. What makes this funny is, in "Generations", basically the same thing happens...the emotion chip kicks in, and without further ado, one thing leads to another, and poor Geordi's strapped down on another table getting unpleasant things inflicted upon his person as a direct result of his good friend's emotional awakening. If I were LaForge, I'd be reconsidering hanging out with this guy. I respectfully submit the following term for this plot twist: WARNING: Data's Emotions May Be Hazardous To Geordi's Health. (A side note: it has been noted that the moment chosen to insert the chip was not exactly ideal...emergency situation, etc., but what bothers me even more is that the decision was immediately acted upon...I mean, a huge, life-altering choice like that, and Data just says, pop the top, Geordi, and do it. And Geordi just goes along with it. Common sense would seem to dictate a slower course...some preparation, quite likely consultation with Troi...but then, I came up with a likely explanation...we are dealing with two men here, after all, and men are going to, well, be men, I suppose...
(Note from Phil: I modified the term to DEAD to make it more generic.)
DIETS Acronym for "Dead In Exactly Two Second."
Submitted by Lee Zion of the USS Kitty Hawk who offered, "How about DIETS? It's hard to find an example of DIETS in Star Trek, but I just saw plenty of them in the Shwarzenegger movie. DIETS is an extension of WHIRL (Wouldn't Happen In Real Life). In True Lies, characters race a motorcycle off of a 20-story building, dangle precariously in front of the powerful jet intake of an AV-8B Harrier, take cover from machine-gun fire behind a lamp post half as wide as the average human being, and kiss romantically while a 30-megaton nuclear explosion destroys a nearby island. And they all survive! The difference between WHIRL and DIETS is simply a matter of degree. While WHIRL is something that wouldn't happen in real life, DIETS is something that, if it did happen in real life, would make the people who did it Dead In Exactly Twenty Seconds."
(Note from Phil: When I published this term in the December 1994 newsletter, I mentioned that I preferred "two" seconds over "twenty." Lee wrote and said he agreed.)
The 'Donut' Factor
Submitted by Gerry Canavan of Randolph, NJ who defined it as "dealing with a miraculous new ability of a piece of familiar equipment. Transporters can reverse aging, Holodecks can store transporter buffers until the main computer comes back online, Voyager can land, etc. Comes from a quote from the immortal Homer Simpson, after a giant plastic donut averts a monorail disaster: "Donuts! Is there anything they can't do?"
EGAL Acronym for "Everyone Gets A Line."
Submitted by Travis McCord who observed from the Voyager episode "Investigations," "The conversation in which Neelix figures out there's a spy on board is necessary, but why with Kes? Answer: so she can get some lines in this episode. (reminds me of that Monty Python catch phrase 'But it's my only line!')"
Elliot Effect, The
Submitted by Timothy Elliot of Arlington, VA who wrote, "I wanted to alert you to a transporter phenomenon I humbly call `The Elliott Effect.' It is most visible on away team trips to dusty climes, seen clearly in `Ensign Ro.' The away team starts their trip in beautifully clean uniforms and boots from a sterile starship, then a second later arrive at their destination with very dusty boots and uniforms."
ER Acronym for "Everything's Reversable"
Submitted by Toni Mattis of Sunland, California who commented, "This rule particularly applies to premature aging. In "Before and After" Kes ages, goes back in time to conception, and comes back exactly where she belongs. TOS, TNG, and even the X-Files "Dod Kalm" all used this. It also applies to grave illnesses. Nobody is ever stabilized with a permanent health problem. (Note from Phil: Although Scully's cancer have lasted for a bit but I suspect it will eventually be cured!)
ESP Acronym for "Endless Supply of Parts"
Submitted by Adam Allouba of Mississauga, Ontario who defined it as, "A series-specific nit to Voyager which refers to the seemingly Endless Supply of Parts that the ship must have at its disposal (a) to repair the ship and (b) to keep its photon launchers full. First of all, the ship is constantly getting thrashed in battle but, afterwards, is always none the worse for wear. The most blatant example of this is in 'Deadlock' when the surviving ship manages to fully repair itself after being all but blown apart by tachyons. I would have thought that this would be like trying to fix your house after a tornado without access to any supplies. Second of all, whatever happened to the fact that they had 'no way of replacing' the photons when they were spent with which Janeway was so concerned with in 'The Cloud'? Then she seemed very reluctant to fire even one torpedo; now they shoot off a few in every battle."
EWOK Acronym for "Ecological Weapons Overpowering
Submitted by Steve Mack of Berkeley CA who revealed, "The best examples of EWOK activity come from 'Star Wars : Return of the Jedi', in which the Ewoks overpower trained, armed and armored stormtroopers with sticks, medium sized rocks, and tripwires and nets made from vines. The most recent example of EWOK activity comes from the "Hippocratic Oath" episode of ST:DS9, in which O'Brian overpowers a vicious Jem'Haddar warrior through the use of a well placed tree branch and a vine tripwire. However, the most pervasive examples of EWOK activity on modern television may be observed on the 'Hercules' and 'Xena' programs."
FONG Acronym for "First Officers' Numerous
Submitted by Lisa Solina who wrote, "Riker's girl betrays him, and he has a new babe next week. Women drool over Spock. Chakotay's gal breaks his heart and he sulks over it for two seasons."
GIS Acronym for "Gillian's Island Syndrome"
Submitted by Phil Farrand who explained, "GIS is series-specific to Star Trek: Voyager. GIS occurs in any episode in which our heros have a chance to make it home and then at the last minute have their hopes dashed upon the rocks of the lagoon (so to speak). For instance, in 'Eye of the Needle,' the crew figure out a way to transport themselves through a tiny wormhole only to discover that the Alpha Quadrant end of the aforementioned wormhole rests decades in the past."
HRTS Acronym for "He Read The Script."
ICBN Acronym for "Intercontinental Ballistic Nit"
Submitted by Sara Green of Lake Elsinore, CA who defined it as"Any nit that not only contradicts the events of episode, but renders that episode impossible." Note from Phil: For instance, the anti-time anomoly in "All Good Things" grows backward in time. Yet, when the future Enterprise first arrives there is nothing there but when it returns (several hour later... in the future), the anomoly *is* there. If the anomoly grows backward in time, the future Enterprise should not have been able to see it when they returned and they wouldn't have been able to help the other two Enterprises seal the rift and all of humanity would have died and we never would have had Star Trek (let alone Star Trek: the Next Generation) in the first place!
IFOS Acronym for "'Invader Friendly' Operating
Submitted by Lee Lorenz who created this term after watching "Basics, Part II"--finding himself amazed that the main computer would allow Seska to cancel voice commands for Star Fleet personnel.
INSF Acronym for "It's Not Science Fiction."
Submittor Unknown. (Please contact Nitpicker Central if you submitted this entry. Credit will be given after verification.)
IRTS Acronym for "It Read The Script."
Submitted by Phil Farrand who asked, "How about IRTS (It Read The Script)? In 'Identity Crisis,' La Forge walks into the holodeck. The camera is set outside looking. La Forge takes eight and one half strides. Then, the camera angle changes and we hear the doors close. Now, a stride for a man measures around two feet or more so La Forge walked 17 feet into the holodeck before the doors closed. But is turns out to be a good thing. Otherwise, we would have had to stare at the closed doors for several moments. And, how did the door know to stay open? IRTS! (Or, TRTS for They Read The Script or HRTS for He Read The Script or SRTS for She Read The Script, etc.)"
Submitted by Phil Farrand after observing the efforts of the creators in the third season of Voyager to toughen up Janeway and make her more like the fabled James Tiberius Kirk.
KMYF Moment Acronym for "Kiss Me, You Fool"
Submitted by Darrin Hull. A "Kiss Me You Fool" Moment occurs when a cast member looks longingly into another castmember's eyes and pauses. Captain Janeway of the Voyager is famous for these moments and there is an ongoing effort to identify at least one KMYF Moment for our beloved captain from every episode of Star Trek: Voyager.
LEAN Acronym for "Let's Explain Away Nits!"
Submitted by Rodney Hrvatin who wrote, "Since the dawning of Nit-picking creators have shuddered to think what the nitpickers will do to their theories and science and so in an effort to explain their thinking they have resorted to LEAN.Examples: Many times in TNG (especially last two seasons. Usually prompted with the line 'But how can we do that Geordi, won't the etc...' It grows even worse in DS9 and Voyager. Example from DS9 is 'Our Man Bashir' when a good one to two minutes is taken to explain the why's and how's of the charcters appearing in 'The Man With The Golden Tricorder' or the like.
LESS Acronym for "Log Entry Solution Story"
Submitted by Mark Blankenship who gave the example of, "a story -like 'Genesis' where there really is about 15 more minutes of story left that they weakly wrap up in a log entry. The Voyager episode 'Threshold' was that way too."
MIA Acronym for "Missing In Accent"
Submitted by Bill Alston of Concord NC who noted, "Besides the famous Doomsday Machine scene where Scotty loses his accent there for a while--after viewing my families copy of ID4--Judd Hirsh's charactor loses his accent while telling "Nobodies perfect" to the ex-CIA director who's "Not jewish". .
The Montgomery Theory
Submitted by Mike Ballway of Evanston, IL who defined it as. "The Amount of Work that can be done on a particular piece of equipment is in an INVERSE RATIO to the amount of time available. Therefore, the less time there is, the greater the degree of repair that can be accomplished. This also works from a science officer's point of view -- The magnitude of a scientific advance is in Inverse Ratio to the amount of time pressure. In other words, the less time there is, the more theoretical jumps and scientific breakthroughs can be made. I name this theory after Montgomery Scott, the Chief Engineer of the Original Series, who probably used this theory in his work more than anyone else."
NANU-NANU Acronym for "Not Another New Uniform, Not
Another New Uniform!!"
Submitted by Matt Nelson & Kevin Rudolph who explained,"In the original Trek, they stayed with their red, white-collared uniforms for approximately 25 years or so. (Movie time not real time.) But in under ten years in the Next Generation, we go from a tight-fitting colored shirt with a gold shoulder band, black trousers, to a looser-fitting colored shirt with the black shoulder band and NO gold pinstripe, slightly modified collar, and black trousers, to a black shirt, colored shoulder band, gray undershirt, black trousers, and lastly, in First Contact, we see black shirt and trousers, gray shoulder band, and a colored undershirt. Seeing as how the only thing not to change in ten years is the pants, I suppose they'll go after those next! I can just see Picard prancing around in some cute lil red toreador pants. Yech."
NASA Acronym for " Not Another Space Artifact"
Submitted by Stephen Mendenhall who gave the following examples, "In 'Space Seed', 'Masks', 'Personae Dramatis', 'Dreadnaught', and many other episodes, every time the crew encounters an ancient probe of some kind, disaster strikes. The most egregious one is in 'For the World is Hollow and I have Touched the Sky', nuclear missiles are launched at the Enterprise for no reason other then to provide an exciting opening to the episode. I'm not sure, but I think that later in the episode the computer acted like it didn't know about the Enterprise crew."
NASTIE Acronym for "Not Another Spurious Term In
Submitted by Matthew McLauchlin who who commented, "The prime example of this phenomenon is the word 'Anodyne.' In innumerable episodes (right now, I can only remember 'Deadlock,' but I am positive I'he heard it in many others) it is used as a technical term for some gadget or other, usually in the form of anodyne relays and such. According to my Random House Webster's College Dictionary (a thing of beauty and a joy forever,) this is the definition of anodyne:
an-o-dyne (an'e din'), n. 1. anything that relieves pain or distress. -adj. 2.
relieving pain. 3. soothing to the mind or feelings. [1535-45;
NEWS Acronym for "Nitpickality Early Warning
Nits submitted by genius-level nitpickers going above and beyond the call of duty by figuring out nits well in advance of episode airing/film release. (Note from Phil: Trevor Ruppe reminded me of this glossary entry but I can't remember who invented it! Maybe I did?)
PAL Acronym for "Previews Always Lie"
Submitted by Richard Steenbergen of Gaithersburg, MD who offered "When an episode doesn't seem exciting enough, the creators of Voyager will make up plots. In the Voyager episode 'Eloguim', the preview was 'Kes is pregnant, but the question is: Who...Is...The...Father', at which point they proceed to flash pictures of all the important men on the ship. If that doesn't imply Kes sleeping around, I don't know what does. And in 'Resistance', the preview was 'Prepare to meet a race that has perfected the techniques of torture' (or something to that effect), and 'What Janeway will do to save her crew will shock you'. That episode had all of 30 seconds of torture, and all Janeway did was let down her hair (I'm SHOCKED)!!!"
PAS Acronym for "Previews Always Spoil"
Submitted by Murray J.D. Leeder who noted that the moment when Harry Kim discovers he is imprisoned on a space station during "The Chute" would have been more dramatic if the creators hadn't shown the clip in the preview.
The Parent Syndrome
Submitted by Miriam Rocke of Davis, CA who explained," "This is a perfect way to explain away any problems, inconsistencies, etc. in any show (although I thought of it with Star Trek in mind). The way it works is this: Do you remember being a little kid, and wanting to know "Why this? Why that? Why? Why?" and having your parents say "Because I said so!" in exasperation? (Or do you remember being a parent in that situation, or even seeing that situation happen to someone else?) Well, the reason why everything happens the way it does (even if it is counterintuitive, highly improbable, etc.) is because *the writers said so*. For example: Why, in "All Good Things...", when the future Enterprise first arrives at the anomaly, isn't it there, even though the anomaly goes backwards in time? Because the writers said so, of course!" (Also called BTWSS.)
POW Acronym for "Possession-O-Week"
Submitted by Deirdre Shaw who wrote: On the basis of the preview for next week's Voyager, I would like to submit a new term for the glossary: POW, Possession-O-Week. This phenomenon can take the form of literal possession by non-corporeal entities, complete with personality change (Miles is taken over on TNG and terrorizes Keiko, Keiko is taken over on DS9 and terrorizes Miles. Join us for a very special DS9 as Molly is taken over and terrorizes her parents. "Give me all your cookies or I'll blast you to smithereens." It's an episode all Starfleet personnel should watch with their families.) It can also occur when crewmembers have their thoughts taken over by another, still-living being, such as a member of a telepathic race, or a nasty little virus." POTW Acronym for "Particle of the Week"
Submitted by Dawson E. Rambo and Michelle Olmstead who explained "In TNG and VOY it seems that any problem can be solved by the suitable application of the Particle of the Week. POTY might also be nominated, (Particle of the Year,) because those darned Tachyon beams/particles sure can do a lot 'o stuff."
The Q Rule
Submitted by Travis McCord who explained, "Any technology, special ability, partial character arc or flaw introduced in Act I--especially if it comes out of the blue--will be used or exploited before the story is resolved. It's not named after John de Lancie's character, but rather the gadgeteer character from the James Bond films--every gadget he gave Bond in the first part of the film was guaranteed to save Bond's butt once (and only once) before the closing credits rolled. Examples from Voyager include that sporocystian (sp?) life-form zapper from 'Suspiria'--and also Kes' budding psychic ability from that same show. In Basics I, it applies to both the sensor and holo-tricks, and the kinder, gentler I-just-wanna-do-something-for-the-ship version of Suder. PS: a corollary to the 'Q rule'--if it's an advantage, 99 times out of 100 it's never heard from again after it's used."
REDSHIRT Submitted by Jason Gaston of San Angelo, TX recalling that any low-level away team member wearing a redshirt in Classic Trek was destined to die a horrible death! (Well, not really, it just seemed that way.)
Gordon Davie of Edinburgh, Scotland added: "This isn't a new definition for the Glossary, but a new term for a definition that's already in there: namely REDSHIRT, referring to the high mortality rate for any non-regular cast members taking part in away missions. Whenever I see one of these unfortunate people, I think ARSENIO HALL! (Another Red-Shirted Extra: Nobody Important, Obviously - Has A Limited Lifespan!)
Saavik Syndrome Submitted by Dora Turje of Vancouver, British Columbia who wrote, "This syndrome occurs when a character is played by an actor in one (or more) episode(s) or movie(s) and is then suddenly, with no explanation, played by someone else. Besides Saavik, it also happened with Tora Ziyal!
SBT Acronym for "Strange But True"
Submitted by Sara Green of Lake Elsinore, CA who wrote, "A collection of nits that point to unusual or odd abilities of the ship's or the crews. This isn't quite explaining nits away, but rather showing the logical and very weird conclusions that nits can point to. There are several such examples with Data; one priceless SBT occurs in 'Time's Arrow I.' The reason Data beamed down to Davidia Two was that he was the only 'equipment' that was capapble of the precision required to get a .04 phase variance. So he beams down with a little deelybopper that must be a subspace field generator. He diddles with a little control on the device and disappears. OK, all fine and good, except the subspace generator couldn't get a variance of .04 on its own. If it could, than tons of technology on the Enterprise could also, and Data wouldn't need to be on the planet. But he did need to be there; nothing else could get the precise variance the crew needed, including that subspace field generator. How does Data acomplish this feat? He can't do it by diddling with the controls; if he could, then the generator did have the precision necessary but we already know (because Geordi said so) that none of the equipment could get that precise. So, what's left? All he did was diddle with the controls and disappear. All we have left is something intrinsic to Data. Data had to *think* the field into the right variance. It's Strange But True; Data can time phase (and time travel!) by thinking at a subspace field!"
SINEW Acronym for "Somehow It Never Ever Works"
Submitted by Ray Andrade who explained, "This term applies to anything in startrek that never works. For example, The warp core ejection system, and medical containment field, the holodeck safteys, the holodeck, any saftey device on a shuttlecraft, and Data's emotions (before the chip)."
SPLICE Acronym for "Space People Love Intermingling
Submitted by Bob Canada who wrote, "You enter the Academy. You become an officer. You ship out into space. Youre only Human-you notice that cute little Andorian gal sitting at the next table in Ten- Forward. You nudge your buddy and exclaim 'Get a load of the antennae on her!' You go over to talk to her. You walk her back to her cabin. She invites you in. 9 months later (or is it 6? 10? 40?) she presents you with a pale blue-skinned nubby-antennaed bouncing baby boy. Yep, this is the Star Trek universe, where ANY two species from ANY two planets can make a baby. We got your Human/Vulcans, your Human/Klingons (even a few Klingon/Humans), Human/Betazoids, Human/0ne-fourth Romulans, Klingon/Romulans, Cardassian/Bajorans. We even got your Cardassian/Kazons, and Kazons arent even from our quadrant (why, once we even had a Half-Human Half-Betazoid/Energy Blob!). Never mind that the mama and the papa both gotta have the same number of chromosomes (not to mention compatible uh 'equipment'), just put two species together in a room and let nature take its course. Naturally, the odds of conceiving a child are inversely proportional to the amount of animosity between the two species (Klingon/Romulan, Cardassian/Bajoran). Still waitin' for the Human/Horta, Human/Gorn, Human/Excaliban, Ferengi/Deltan (greedy AND horny), Bolian/Andorian (I bet it'd have blue skin), Bolian/Cheron (half blue, half white?), Klingon/Chalnoth (wouldn't wanna nurse it!), Vulcan/Klingon (I can feel the inner struggle already), Pakled/Cytherian, Human/Android (its only a matter of time,folks), Human/Changeling (eeww!), and my favorite, Klingon/Tribble.
SO-SO Acronym for "Same old, Same old"
Submitted by Joanna Cravit of Toronto, Ontario who explained, "This refers to the dreadfully annoying habit they have of RECYCLING CONCEPTS!" (Note from Phil: For instance, how many holodeck-gone-bad shows have we had so far?)
SRTS Acronym for "She Read The Script."
SWS Acronym for "Star Wars Similarity"
Submitted by John Latchem who commented, "I'll take this time to nominate Star Wars Similarity (SWS) to the glossary. I know I am not the only one who has noticed these similarities. DS9 has many SWSs each season. There are also a lot in the episode 'The Collaborator' including many references to Rebels, crush the rebellion, etc. I guess TOS could have an honorary SWS moment from the episode 'The Enemy Within' when the conn ensign refers to 'Mr. Solo' instead of Sulu. As you noted in the TOS Guide, he could have been referring to the Millenium Falcon 10 years before Star Wars even came out!"
TA Acronym for "Techno-Amnesia"
(Note from Phil: I can't remember if I started this or not. I've used it quite a bit. If refers to characters forgetting that they have certain technologies at their disposal--like when Mulder and Scully forget to call each other on their cell phones in an emergency!)
TAR Acronym for "Throw-Away Reference"
Submitted by Gerry Canavan of Randolph, NJ who defined it as "Those times when the writers make a reference to an earlier show or movie for no other reason than to amuse long-time viewers of the show. Example: Chakotay was put through college by Captain Sulu.
TIOTS Acronym for "Take It On The Shields"
Submitted by Derek Linden of Cambridge, MA who noted that TIOTS was the "annoying habit of every Federation ship to wait and wait to return fire while the shields get pounded. It's particulary bad in Voyager episode "Maneuvers' when Chakotay is captured by Seska. They keep getting hit over and over, like the Enterprise used to, but now there are no starbases for repairs. They can't afford to get damaged, yet they hardly ever shoot back! ARGH!! The season premiere of DS9 was a nice reversal of TIOTS--they actually fired at about the same time as the Klingons came at them!"
TRTS Acronym for "They Read The Script."
TWO Acronym for "That Was Obvious"
Submitted by Kathryn Rosanna Louise Harkins who felt it was obvious enough not to need an explanation!
UTFK Acronym for "Use the Force, Kes"
Submitted by John Latchem who defined it as "Any time Kes uses her mental powers is a UTFK moment, especially the scene with Kes boiling the tea in 'Cold Fire.' Another UTFK moment occurs in 'Persistance of Vision' when she defeats the alien. UTFK episodes would thus feature Kes in some important way using her mental abilities to save the day."
UTFT Acronym for "Use the Force, Troi"
Submitted by Martin Jack of Brighton, England. It is a derivative of UTFK.
WHIRL Acronym for "Wouldn't Happen In Real Life."
Submitted by Phil Farrand who said, "The second season premiere of SeaQuest, DSV afforded me the chance to use a new addition to the Nitpicker's Glossary. Early in the show, Captain Bridger rides a motorcycle at 164 miles per hour around a tight curve. The bike stays upright and the road is flat. That's called a WHIRL. In real life, with the bike upright, the tires could not generate enough centripetal force to constrain the bike into a curve so inertia would keep the bike travelling straight and right into the ditch!" (Thanks to Eric Brasure for correctly pointing out that there is no such thing as "centrifugal force" as previous stated in this definition!)
WHIGEE Acronym for "White Guilt Environmental
Submitted by Phil Farrand who admitted, "These are not my favorite shows. You know... the ones where the creators go out of their way to say how bad the white man was and what horrible things he did to the planet and other members of the human race. The Voyager episode, "Tattoo," for example, pounds away at this theme for the entire episode."
YADA Acronym for "Yet Another Distortion Anomoly."
Submitted by Kekoa Kaluhiokalani of Columbus, OH who noted, "The ever-present, unexplainable generic space blob that provides periodic plot fodder, as in the anomaly in 'Lonely Among Us' and the reverse-time anomaly in 'All Good Things.' ST:Voyager is particularly fond of this device. In the second season alone (so far) a YADA has shown up in 'Non Sequitur,' 'Twisted,' and is responsible for the malfunctions which befuddle the Doctor in the holodeck during 'Projections.'" (Note from Phil: Actually, Kekoa submitted the term YASA for "Yet Another Space Anomoly." He got it from a friend off Internet *somewhere.* I changed it a bit to protect the innocent. Besides, this way nitpickers can answer, "How did you like the episode?" with "Yada, yada, yada!" Wink, wink.)
YATA Acronym for "Yet Another Transporter Ability."
Submitted by Paul Lalli of Feeding Hills, MA who advised, "For years, those who read the usenet startrek groups have used the acronym YATA - Yet Another Transporter Ability. It is used whenever an episode shows the transporter systems solving the problem or when the transporter does something we never knew it could do before. For example - creating a duplicate Riker in Second Chances, restoring Pulaski's "youth" in Unnatural Selection, beaming the Romulan through a wormhole and time in the first season Voyager episode, etc, etc."
YAWNNASA Acronym for "Yawn, Another Wickedly Nasty, Nasty Ancient Space
Submitted by Stephen Mendenhall who wrote, "YAWNNASA is a variation of NASA. It refers to the fact that the crew never refers to previous encounters. Nobody ever says, 'Hey, last time we encountered one of these we got in trouble. Maybe we should wait for reinforcements.' Nobody rolls their eyes and says, 'Here we go again.' For that matter, they hardly ever refer to events of previous episodes."
If you would like to submit a new term to the glossary for my approval, drop me an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. Put "Glossary" in the subject line and include your name and address as it appears in my database so I can find you. Please include an example of the term from a television episode. I cannot guarentee that all terms will be posted to the primary glossary but all terminology will be considered. (Any new term has to pass the "smile" test. If I don't grin the first time I read it, it won't make it in. It also has to be clever. And, remember the legalese: Everything you submit becomes mine and you grant me the right to use your name in any future publication by me. I will do my best to give you credit if you are the first person to submit a particular glossary term but I make no guarantees. And finally, due to the volume of mail received at Nitpicker Central, your submission may or may not be acknowledged.)
Copyright 1997 by Phil Farrand. All rights reserved.