Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Warp Speed Wednesday: A Lexicon of Lingo.

My husband and I have a mixed marriage. I am a trekkie. He is normal. We've been together fourteen years, and -- while still not a trekkie -- he now has a working knowledge of the Star Trek universe.
For anyone else just entering fandom, or in a relationship with a fan, I've created the following list of Trekkie terms:

United Federation of Planets -- it's like the United Nations, but with more one-piece jumpsuits. Earth is a charter member of this league of planets located in the Alpha Quadrant of the Milky Way galaxy. Member planets must have independently achieved interstellar spaceflight, have one planet-wide government and agree to adhere to certain governance principles and philosophies.

Starfleet -- the military arm of the United Federation of Planets, whose main mandate is peace keeping, scientific study and exploration. The ships and space stations featured in the Star Trek television shows are part of Starfleet. Starfleet ranks (ie Yeoman, Ensign, Commodore, etc) follows the conventions of the American and British navy.

Prime Directive -- key principle of Starfleet that forbids interference in an indigenous culture. It's meant to prevent colonial domination of civilizations by the United Federation of Planets.  This edict doesn't apply to sexual relations, however. Kirk might not be able to stop a society from going to war, but he can have sex with their women-folk.

Captain's Log -- a narrative tool employed frequently. It's like a blog, but more awesome.

Pon Farr -- the Vulcans are a race who eschew any display of emotions except for a period once every seven years when their biological urges impel them to put on a Kenny G cd, light some scented candles and make sweet, sweet illogical love.

Holodeck -- rooms used for recreation, research, and training where light and energy are harnessed to create or recreate three-dimensional environments or dynamic characters. No doubt invented by a  pornographer.

warp speed -- rate at which ships travel faster than light.

impulse drive -- slower than warp speed, used within planetary systems.

dilithium crystals -- power source for the warp engines.Will break/fracture/rupture/whatever at critical moments.

Gene Roddenberry -- creator of the franchise.

Berman-Braga -- want to earn props with your Star Trek loving mate? Make an insulting quip about Brannon Braga and Rick Berman, producers and writers of the franchise following Roddenberry's death.  You might not agree with the popular assertion that they made Star Trek a tepid, neo-conservative shadow of it's former radical self, but don't let that stop you from ragging on these two. It's FUN!

neutral zone -- buffer zones between Federation space and other political factions or empires that are not members.

Transporter --  people use these to disappear and reappear at different locations.  

Mirror universe -- appears in TOS, DS9, and ENT, this is an alternate/opposite reality to the main Star Trek universe. Mirror story lines show a vile, treacherous, violent version of the galaxy. There are lots of beards, and exposed midriffs in Mirror universe episodes because these things are inherently EVIL.

Do you have any words to add? Or terms you want defined? I'm happy to help.


  1. Why don't we make everyone in the United Nations wear one-piece jumpsuits? Wait - aren't jumpsuits by definition one-piece?

    I love the mirror universe episodes.

  2. Thanks for the lesson. I love trekkies, I just don't happen to be one.

  3. @Bibliomama -- YES. "One piece jumpsuit" is repetitive. And sexy. Damn sexy.

    @Jenifer -- I must share my useless knowledge with the masses.

    @Naked Mother -- Aw. Thanks. We're a very inclusive group. Promise.