1. doggiedude
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    doggiedude Contributing Member

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    Sci-fi terms

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by doggiedude, Apr 19, 2016.

    According to the dictionary - lightspeed is not a word. But I think most readers of sci-fi would consider it one. Should I really include it as light speed? Or can I get away with lightspeed without people thinking it's a typo.
     
  2. HelloImRex
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    HelloImRex Contributing Member

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    I wouldn't care and if you do it consistently wrong people probably won't think it's a typo anyway.
     
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  3. Oscar Leigh
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    Oscar Leigh Contributing Member

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    I think people won't care. And pop-culture has it's own lexicon that is official in it's own right. To the point where standard dictionaries slowly pick up the most popular terms. It's the same as with slang. So go ahead. They might not even notice the difference.
     
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  4. Justin Phillips
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    Justin Phillips Active Member

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    Oh my god did Sebastian Ritter invent light speed? Um I think in your universe, you can establish whatever you want it to be typed as, and act like that's just how they decided to call it when it was invented.
     
  5. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    I think that anyone who got their knickers in a twist over this bit of in-universe jargon is likely to get even more bent out of shape over some other use that you probably aren't even thinking of as fret-worthy. ;) You won't make them happy.

    (Like I'm sure that my use of them as a gender neutral singular has some members in a right fit just now. I don't care. Fit away, oh fitty-fit members.) :rant:

    :superwink:
     
  6. doggiedude
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    doggiedude Contributing Member

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    Nope he didn't, but his invention does make it more likely for a ship to survive the trip.
     
  7. Justin Phillips
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    Justin Phillips Active Member

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    dammit I thought I had it figured out. been wondering since I read your prologue.
     
  8. tonguetied
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    tonguetied Contributing Member Contributor

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    Darn, I was hoping that this was going to be a list of terms not just C. My dictionary has centrifugal force which doesn't actually exist, at least it says it is the equilibrium to centripetal force, so it seems safe to use it (lightspeed) IMO. Probably light-speed isn't listed is due to its unique relation to relativity, oh for the knowledge of Wreybies to write this accurately. Now for some explanations of some other terms such as "event horizon", "back hole", "zero gravity", "escape velocity", etc. and maybe some sci-fi stuff like photon torpedoes, transporter, ether, and so on.

    Is C++ faster than lightspeed? :)
     
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  9. doggiedude
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    doggiedude Contributing Member

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    yeah, my software goes nuts when I write low G or zero-G
     
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  10. zoupskim
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    zoupskim Contributing Member Contributor

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    On the USS Langley, lightspeed is what we used to back into parking space spaces... Before we invented teleportation.

    BB
     
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  11. Simpson17866
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    Simpson17866 Contributing Member Contributor

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    Oh really ;)

    ... I'm sorry, we're revoking your math license.
     
  12. Oscar Leigh
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    Oscar Leigh Contributing Member

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    I used "them" as a gender neutral singular pronoun in my recent excerpt and about six or seven people have said it was a problem. So I know what your talking about.
     
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  13. Cave Troll
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    Cave Troll Bite the bullet, do your own thing. Contributor

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    My software does not mind using G, when they are pulling Gs. I don't use lightspeed, instead subspace (much faster than lightspeed :p ). I use "it' for undetermined genders, also cyborgs. I know cyborgs can have a physical appearance to a specific gender, but they cannot perse reproduce. Even have an alien word for the stars. :p
     
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  14. Oscar Leigh
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    Oscar Leigh Contributing Member

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    So infertile people are genderless?
     
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  15. Wayjor Frippery
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    Wayjor Frippery Contributing Member

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    Aaaaaarrrrrrgh, aaaaaaaaaaarrrrrgh, *foam* spit* twitch* aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaargh! Bastards. The lot of you.

    Yes, you can. Make up a vocabulary sheet for your copy editor as you go along that includes all of your S/F language to show him/her (ahem, @Wreybies) that you're being consistent, and you'll be good to go.
     
  16. Sack-a-Doo!
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    The rule of thumb I use (and many will think this is dumb) is I Google it. If it shows up in an online dictionary or in common use (other than as a URL) I take that as license to use it as-is.

    But I Googled 'lightspeed' and it's always written as two words. I'm partial to it being one word because my ex-writing partner had a really cool idea about the guy who develops FTL travel and he always wrote it as one word.

    But (but) in this case, I'm sure you can get away with it because a lot of people (without looking it up) will believe it's one word, simply because it's such a common idea these days.
     
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  17. tonguetied
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    tonguetied Contributing Member Contributor

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    I would lean towards saying speed of light rather than light-speed. First consideration is how do you measure the speed of light? If you emit a photon back towards where the universe is expanding from and a photon out away from the expansion they will be traveling at different rates of speed relative to your location. The term light-speed seems to imply a constant rate of motion relative to me in my thinking, and I realize that is just my thinking, whereas speed of light is more related to how fast a photon would move relative to me which will vary.

    I included the link below just for kicks, not really needed for this discussion.
    http://curious.astro.cornell.edu/about-us/104-the-universe/cosmology-and-the-big-bang/expansion-of-the-universe/616-is-the-universe-expanding-faster-than-the-speed-of-light-intermediate
     
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  18. Shadowfax
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    Shadowfax Contributing Member Contributor

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    I have no problem with the universe "expanding faster than the speed of light". After all, if Galaxy X is heading North at the speed of light, and Galaxy Y is heading South at the speed of light, it makes sense (I know that little of the theory of relativity, etc., makes sense!) that the universe is expanding at twice the speed of light. Certainly, Galaxies X & Y are moving away from each other at that speed. The big problem with that is the idea that "the universe is expanding FTL"...It's not, it's expanding at FTL, and the fact that the North and South corners are moving away from each other at FTL x 2 is all because the rate of expansion is FTL x 1. i.e., Galaxy X is moving away from the point of origin at FTL x 1.
     
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  19. Cave Troll
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    Cave Troll Bite the bullet, do your own thing. Contributor

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    Not what I meant. I use it for amphibian type creatures that can reproduce A-sexually. As for Cyborgs, they are more machine than organic. Although they retain their mental faculties, while being fused with machine. Also the term 'it', is used according to which species is using the term. Not all races in the universe will view things the same way in terms of what constitutes one for having a gender, and which does not. Cyborgs are in the gray area due to being more machine than what they originally were, at least in physical body. So no "it" does not apply to infertile beings, just those that can swap gender and those that are more machine than organic tissue. :p
     
  20. Oscar Leigh
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    Oscar Leigh Contributing Member

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    Actually, I'm pretty sure Agender people are fertile normally. :bigmeh:
     
  21. Oscar Leigh
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    Oscar Leigh Contributing Member

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    Yeah, I know, just saying you should be careful when you use reproduction as a reason for them not being gendered to be clear how this doesn't apply to other examples. Otherwise you're kind of making up a rule you don't agree with, that says anything that doesn't breed is agendered. Correctness Nazi away! :brb::brb:
     
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  22. newjerseyrunner
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    Centrifugal force is a term used by physicists. Physicists often use terms for things that aren't real as a placeholder for a complicated mathematical idea. They talk about virtual photons when discussing quantum electrodynamics even thought it's not real. I've heard many scientists use centrifugal force, they're just careful when they use it.

    Could use use "causal speed" instead? Light is not special, all energy/bosons with no mass travel at this speed. The speed of light is constant for absolutely everything that does not interact with the Higgs field.

    I'd be happy to explain any of these, what do you have question about them? Zero gravity for one is a misnomer, microgravity is the term that is usually used.

    No, it won't. A photon will always be measured moving at exactly c. Space and time stretch to compensate. It's hard to explain but a photon can not have a rest reference frame so it's non-sensical to speak of it moving at any velocity other than c. If you want to see the mathematics of how the speed of light remains constant for objects moving relative to each other, look up the Lorenz transformation.

    If a galaxy that is moving away from us at high speed emits a photon, both us and they will observe it moving at the speed of light. From the point of view of each other, the speed of time and the length of the universe is altered to make it fit. c is the translation constant between moving through space and moving through time. The faster you move through space, the slower you move through time.

    Again, sorry, but this is not correct. Galaxy X is casually disconnected from Galaxy Y. You can not talk about their relative velocities since they can not exist in the same reference frame.
     
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2016
  23. doggiedude
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    doggiedude Contributing Member

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    Wow this got technical. I'm only mentioning that light speed still wasn't obtainable in my universe.
     
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  24. newjerseyrunner
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    newjerseyrunner Contributing Member

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    Then I think the term that you are looking for is "subluminal."
     
  25. Cave Troll
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    Cave Troll Bite the bullet, do your own thing. Contributor

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    @Oscar Leigh The closest I have come to Nazism or the infamous Unit 731, is the Confederation Military Science facility on Callisto. They perform all types of horrific experiments on all types of species they captured from the refuge on Pluto. They integrated a human woman with machinery, and a metal exoskeleton with out anesthesia. Also performing a living dissection on a female plant, and removed her clutch of seeds. Not very pleasant things to do to living beings. (I could send you the excerpt for this if you would like.) :p

    As far as using 'it' in the context, is actually much more polite than making a gender mistake about an Amphibian type being that may or may not be able to reproduce A-sexually. There just so happens to be one such being on a private science facility on Helene, a sub moon of Dion. (could send you this excerpt as well :p)
     
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