Re: [rp-ml] A public survey on terminology

From: Steve Baker (
Date: Tue Aug 23 2005 - 08:32:16 EEST

Andrew Werby wrote:
> If they came with a 3d scanner built in, then we could call them
> Replicators...]

This term could catch on because of StarTrek's use of the word for
something VERY similar to one of these beasts.

In the Trek universe, Replicators do not in fact *copy* something
like a photocopier - they replicate something from an original that's
stored or generated in their computers' memory...exactly as we propose.

Mostly they use it for food items - but there were plenty of episodes
where people used one to make items as diverse as musical instruments.
(Data: "Computer please replicate me one Viola.")

Words from StarTrek have DEFINITELY caught on for other technologies
in the past.

How come we have a 'Space Shuttle' ? The Enterprise had handy
reusable 'Shuttles' that did the job of getting to and from orbit
from the planet's surface carrying a handful of crew and/or a small
cargo...pretty much exactly what our modern shuttle does. The NASA
guys used that term because it had become descriptive (they also called
the first prototype 'The Enterprise' - really trekkies would have gone
with 'Gallileo').

'Nanites' as a word for Nanotechnological Robots came from StarTrek.

Everyone knows what a 'Holodeck' is - it's almost taken over from
'Virtual Reality' as a term for that kind of device.

I think 'Replicator' - 'Replicate' could catch if only we
could get the voice controls ("Earl Grey - Hot"), the pretty sparkly
light and the 3 second build time from *any* materials!

---------------------------- Steve Baker -------------------------
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