Tag Archives: lolz

Sophomoric Superimposition of Meaning on Rebecca Black’s “Friday”

Derided as the ultimate example of artificial, substance-less music in the modern era, Rebecca Black’s “Friday” has received extravagant backlash for what, in reality, is the shrouded outcry of a young, vulnerable girl living under the shackles of a coerced identity. From her treatise on the regimented, inescapable onslaught of days to the forced pitches of the song’s Auto-Tuning, Black’s Rousseauean social angst permeates every facet of her musical debut. Tragically, the exuberance she must assume to fulfill cultural expectations likely masks her endeavor to be heard. In this analysis, “Friday”‘s true artistic intentions shall be revealed through an examination of the fatalistic themes suggested by the song’s title, its lyrics, the music video’s blatantly artificial construction, and the automated behavior of the actors in the video.

Some background will help to illuminate the puppeteering behind the creation of “Friday”. Rebecca Black’s mother paid a a hefty $4,000 to ARK Music Factory for a song and video, effectively strongarming 13 year-old Black into a position of celebrity. She was offered several pre-written songs to choose from, only one of which– “Friday”– did not pertain to romantic love, a sensation Black had yet to experience. As such, given her innocence, “Friday” was Black’s only choice.

Focus on Friday alludes to the cultural significance of the day itself. In traditional Judeo-Christian-Islamic theology, Friday is the sixth day of the week upon which Elohim/God/Allah created human beings and commanded them to “be fruitful, and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it”. Wielding a directive as his first interaction with human beings, Elohim/God/Allah sets a precedent for behavioral submission to certain expectations. Human beings are effectively prohibited from making choices, a transgression which is punished with exile from the Garden of Eden. This social despotism carries over to human beings themselves, who create their own social institutions for control of one another. Within this model, Friday represents the day upon which social coercion was invented and human choice, criminalized. Similar to Rebecca Black having only the illusion of choice for which song to perform, human beings have only the illusion of choice in life. They must abide the constraints of innocence or suffer the ignominy of a self-driven, choice-based life.

The repetition used throughout “Friday” suggests the toll of regimented obligations, as seen in the passage, “Gotta be fresh, gotta go downstairs / Gotta have my bowl, gotta have cereal”. These anaphoric segments reiterate forced duties through usage of a conventional dialect contraction of “Got to”, a phrase which implies necessity. It is, by extension, necessary that one “be fresh… have [one’s] bowl, etc.”. From a purely survivalistic perspective, having one’s bowl seems trite. Portrayal of such trivial elements of life as mandatory highlights the influence of a binding convention of behavior, requiring that people, or at least teenage girls named Rebecca Black, be fresh and have their bowls.

What, then, is the punishment for defying these mandates? Specifically, what would happen if Rebecca Black were not to have her bowl after becoming fresh and going downstairs? Presumably, the pillars upon which her strict schedule (as indicated by flashes of her weekday obligations at the beginning of the music video) would crumble. Every part of her existence, even minute elements like having her bowl, is necessary to support the delicate construct of her lifestyle. Her lifestyle, in turn must be equally mandated; pursuing another route would result in undesirable social consequences steep enough to preclude any such miss-stepping, a contemporary equivalent to expulsion from the Garden of Eden.

In many ways, this modern Garden of Eden represents, for Black, the social expectations imposed upon adolescents. They are expected to have hormones which encourage sexual pursuits. They are expected to maintain appearances that enable these pursuits. Such expectations necessitate abiding social conventions that define these appearances: namely, physical fitness and attractive countenance. In this case, the maintenance of one’s countenance is implied in when the lyric “Gotta be fresh” is coupled in the music video with a transformation of Black’s bed hair into sleek, straightened hair. This cosmetic routine along with having breakfast cereal (likely part of a personal regimen devoted to a fitness-promoting diet) are likely measures taken to assure sexual success and social acceptance.

The binding nature of the phrase “Gotta [socially mandated action]” appears once again in the refrain, as seen in the lyric, “Gotta get down on Friday”. By implying obligation in reference to fun experiences (“getting down”),  the same social necessity attributed to having one’s bowl is so attributed to having fun. As such, even hedonistic pursuits are framed as forceful impositions of the ruling social convention. This notion is reinforced when one examines the mechanical behavior of those partaking in the so-called “fun”; both in scenes where Black is presented in the car with her friends as well as in the subsequent party, all the kids present behave mechanically–as though they are merely going through the motions. This surreal, mechanical behavior could be due to the low-budget nature of the acting in the music video’s production, but in deference to authorial intent, the automated nature of the kids’ motions coupled with monotonous repetitions of “Fun, fun, fun” as well as “Partyin’, partyin'” suggests routine, not enjoyment. In the same way that the oppressive school-related weekdays shown in the beginning of the music video imply regimented obligations like homework and exams, the weekend, similarly sequenced in “Tomorrow is Saturday / And Sunday comes after … wards”, implies that mandated fun is equally oppressive.

Subtle confessionals of the weekend’s dark associations can be gleaned from lines like “Gotta get down on Friday”. “Getting down” ambiguously suggests either engaging in pleasurable acts, particularly dancing, or becoming depressed. In the context of the model presented here, engaging in pleasurable acts like dancing fulfills social expectations without regard for individual interests. The mandated nature of these expectations may, in fact, render such acts intrinsically unpleasant, or a source of depression. This negative attitude towards weekend fun represents an inversion of traditional TGIF tropes, replacing such positive outlooks with “Oh no, it’s Friday” (ONIF). Equally oppressive is the repeated time motif seen in lines like “The time is goin’ / Tickin’ on and on, everybody’s rushin'”, “Makes tick tock, tick tock, wanna scream”, and “I want time to fly”. Of all physical laws, time is the most exigent: slowing when one wants it to speed up, fast when one needs more of it. To boot, time is harshly unidirectional and consistent, with the conventions that define it (like days of the week) creating inescapable cycles of repetition.

The obsolescence of choice recurs in the lyrics “Kickin’ in the front seat / Sittin’ in the back seat / Gotta make my mind up / Which seat can I take?”. Already, socializing with friends who ride in a convertible–very conventionally “cool”–takes priority over riding the bus to school. When a social outlet presents itself, other options cease to be relevant. When Black contrivedly ponders what seat to sit in, it becomes obvious that this choice, too, is nonexistent. The express phrasing of her pondering “Which seat can I take?” does not suggest desirable options so much as feasible ones. Notice that she does not say, “Which seat do I want to take?”, a query would would indicate that the speaker’s actions are guided by her desires, not some binding construct. In explicitly questioning which seat she “can” take, Black accents the futility of world she lives in, but also questions the institution that imposed the futility of choice.

There can be no coincidence that Rebecca Black’s last name hearkens to establishment of Black Fridays, days upon which catastrophic events happened. The song’s superficially exultant view of Friday clashes with this institution of Friday horrors, suggesting an undercurrent of fear towards weekly times dedicated to fun. Presented above was the notion that fun, when obligatory, could turn unpleasant and ironically unfun. The prospect of engaging in such pretense could be fear-inspiring, certainly, but how might it be catastrophic, like a Black Friday? Recall that social protocols require that young teenage girls adhere to standards of physical attractiveness that, presumably, assure their sexual success as they enter adolescence. As far as “catastrophic” events go, the loss of virginity is an easy candidate, especially for young females. Various perspectives compete for dominance in the sphere of female virginity, for example: chaste puritanism, 60’s and 70’s-inspired sexual revolution, and the social climate created by peers responding to these and other perspectives–not to mention a given teenage girl’s personal sexual propensities. Internal conflicts regarding sexual rite of passage have the potential to become some of the most emotionally tumultuous experiences– in the case of “Friday”, the weekend party associations with pressured sexuality underscore a profound fear, creating a sense of social rape.

Weaving together the ideas presented above, a mosaic of helplessness in the face of social laws emerges. Imposed control, lack of choice, hijacked identity / innocence, the inevitability of what time brings, and fear of the inevitable all follow naturally. In the same way that Rebecca Black was made a slave to a song and music video she did not envision but merely identified with over unfamiliar romanti-sexual material, “Friday” represents the enslavement of the human race to their own social contracts. This system wherein social deviance is punished and obedience rewarded is reflected in the plainly artificial nature of “Friday”‘s musical form: Auto-Tune enables a song master to remove any natural deviations or “errors” from a recording, forcing conformation to an melody through technological means. The great irony is that what was once considered deviant, despite being “natural” (having a libido, for instance, is quite natural) can be mandated, thus framing prudes, straight-edgers, innocent adolescents, and other “squares” as social invalids.

If credit is due to a particular individual for conceiving “Friday”, Patrice Wilson, co-founder of ARK Music Factory and writer of “Friday”, should be the prime candidate. His system of control mirrors the themes of “Friday”, which comment on social control, something which he partakes in by co-founding a label responsible for controlling aspiring musical acts. The notion of enabling musicians by providing them with pre-written songs where they will act according to a script in a music video is the perfect meta to the theme of “Friday”, an eloquent cherry on top of a social rape cake. Of course, this cake presents itself as an exuberant, Friday-loving cake because it, too, must abide social conventions. To tell the truth about internal conflicts would defy social constructs. Therefore, the cake is a lie.

See, “Friday” is a pretty deep song, mmkay?

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Extreme Schnozzes

Ever watch The Most Extreme? If you have, it goes without saying that you thought to yourself, “Self, The Most Extreme would indubitably profit from a ‘Most Extreme Noses’ episode”. And even if that’s not something you’ve thought, well now you’re thinking it! Imagine that. Implanting thoughts is as easy as getting people to read.

So, without further ado, and in no particular order, Martholomew Gumblesworth proudly presents The Arguably Most (But-Honestly-Arbitrary-Given-Lack-of-Quantifying-Criteria) Extreme Noses!

Goblin Shark

found on: https://i1.wp.com/www.omgblog.com/images/2009/goblin-shark-thumb.jpg

When schnoz meets Jaws.

Look at this idiot! It’s amazing he even manages to eat with that enormous snout sticking out of his face. You could probably land planes on that thing. And who knows what it’s good for–it’s probably the product of ridiculous evolutionary female choice selection. Or maybe the Cloverfield monster uses goblin sharks as darts, and only allows those with the biggest noses to survive. In any case, its rostrum exceeds any other shark’s in relative size, which is pretty darn extreme.

Fei Jianjun

found on: https://martygumblesworth.files.wordpress.com/2011/03/rhinocarcinoma12.jpg?w=199

Meet Fei Jianjun. One day, he discovered an unpleasant red bump on the tip of his nose, but did not seek medical attention due to poverty. Over the next year, his honker enlarged to the size pictured above, so large that his eyes were literally pushed to sides of his face, earning him “diseased freak status” in his village. As such, Fei rarely left his house as he was thought to be a vector for illness. To boot, it shouldn’t come as much surprise that once your nose swells to the size of an apple that considerable pain results. Eventually, a local hospital offered him free surgery, and a CT scan revealed that the cause of his troubles was a rhinocarcinoma, which they shrank via radiation.

In general, the whole situation is undilutedly awful, but he did get free healthcare out of it. And any nose that gets you free healthcare is an extreme nose.

The Monoclonius

found on: https://i2.wp.com/www.fusegallerynyc.com/07Robins/images/monoclonius.jpg

The rhinoceros has a pretty extreme nose. Its name means “nose horn”, after all. But why include a silly rhinoceros on this list when a much larger, much more extreme version of such a nose once sniffed the earth?

Of all the unicorn-like ceratopsids, the monoclonius has by far the largest nose horn. At 2.7 m in height, this brawny beast could snag a white rhino on its horn and toss it like a plush toy. You could also wrap lights around it and pretend it was a small Christmas tree. You know the holidays get extreme when you use a dinosaur nose to supplement decorative traditions.

Adrien Brody

found on: https://i1.wp.com/iconsoffright.com/news/Adrien%20Brody.jpg

Adrien Brody’s nose is the Mount Everest of Hollywood schnozzes. It dwarfs other actors’ noses and cackles maniacally, screeching tyrannical nose insults in the form of snot rockets. It towers menacingly, Barad-dur-like, growling malediction in the language of Mordor. It snores, and tectonic plates shift. And so on.

Brody’s nose is also probably partially responsible for landing him his role as Jewish-Polish pianist Władysław Szpilman in The Pianist. His masterful portrayal of said role then landed him an Oscar, not to mention the opportunity (which was taken) to ravish Halle Berry with a kiss. Getting an Oscar and making out with Halle Berry? That’s an extreme nose.

The Hammer-Headed Bat

found on: https://i0.wp.com/lh6.ggpht.com/_JwTvDWpU4xI/TXDNf9tSGWI/AAAAAAAAFvs/LPe2SRPxp9Q/Hammer%20Headed%20Bat_thumb%5B3%5D.jpg

Bats tend to look fairly hilarious. Some have enormous ears, and some have enormous noses. In fact, the aptly-named hammer-headed bat’s nose exceeds the volume of its brain by a factor of at least 2. It also contributes heavily to the species’s sexual dimorphism, with only males possessing the enlarged rostrums. These noses, in addition to lengthened mouth cavities and larynxes, enable male hammer-headed bats to emit loud honks.

It probably comes as no surprise that the caliber of these honks influences how sexually attractive the males are to coeds. This phenomenon can be seen in full-thottle when males gather together, often around riverbanks, to compete for mates in a behavior known as lek mating. Effectively, a gaggle of males sit around trying to out-honk each other while the females fly around listening in for the finest honks, much like a bar scene where scads of males try out their pickup lines. Since nose size contributes to the quality of the honks, females select for the finest, and probably most pronounced, noses. When a nose determines whether one gets laid or not, one must submit to the extremity of said nose. Plus, these fellows can allegedly be used as hammers. And hammers are useful.

Cyrano de Bergerac

found on: https://i1.wp.com/www.acertaincinema.com/workspace/media/jose-ferrer-cyrano-de-bergerac.jpg

Like many great men, the fictional Cyrano de Bergerac falls in love with his cousin, Roxane. And also like many great men, Cyrano is profoundly ugly, due in large part to his large nose, which causes him great distress. People, cruel as they must be to make Cyrano pitiable, say that his nose is large enough to be used as an umbrella.

In the eponymous play, Cyrano demonstrates mastery of duelling, music, wit, and so on. He also writes beautiful love sonnets and the like, but is too shy to approach his buxom cousin with them. Meanwhile, she falls in love with the handsome but stupid bloke who hasn’t the parlance to charm her. This mentally-impaired Adonis asks Cyrano to furnish him with the verbiage to fully woo Roxane, which Cyrano agrees to do. Roxane eventually falls in love with these words, and when she finally discovers that it is Cyrano who was behind them, she falls for him, nose and all. Of course, to be properly depressing/moving, she admits her love to Cyrano as he is dying.

If we are to subscribe to the Sixteen Candles-y notion that ugly people persevere as sharp-witted, successful, and talented, all of Cyrano’s skills owe themselves to his nose. Plus, it can apparently be used to shield people from rain. Totally extreme.

The Proboscis Monkey

found on: https://martygumblesworth.files.wordpress.com/2011/03/proboscismonkey2.jpg?w=300

This monkey’s nose is so extreme that people just call the animal it’s attached to the proboscis monkey. It’s the nose monkey. You see that guy over there, with the nose? Yeah, that’s the proboscis guy.

As with hammer-headed bats, nose size in proboscis monkeys underscores a sexual dimorphism in the species. While female proboscis monkeys have fairly prominent noses, they don’t quite have the Kilroy-was-here factor that the males do. And, once again as with hammer-headed bats, we can be sure nose size plays into how hot male proboscis monkeys are to the ladies.

It would be fair to say that proboscis monkeys can have erections for noses. As is the case with most cardiovascular animals, proboscis monkeys experience increased heart rate when they’re excited. As the excitement rises, so does the level of blood saturation in their nasal tissue. With noses engorged thus, a resonating chamber is created that can amplify the sound of calls, especially warning signals. This is quite useful; if one proboscis monkey detects danger, he will become fearful and therefore excited, thus making him better at communicating danger to his compatriots. Super-siren nose that makes you look like Squidward? Extreme.

Pinocchio

found on: https://i1.wp.com/freebirdsigns.com/images/products/14773b2971c73b-43.-Pinocchio.jpg

This kid can’t tell a lie without his nose erupting outward like the Ruyi Jingu Bang when Sun Wukong needs to steal cookies from the top shelf. Think about the implications; to weaponize that honker, all Pinocchio needs to do is stand in front of someone, point his nose at their eye, and say, “I’m a real boy! I’m a real boy!” Too bad he gave up his superpower, it was pretty extreme.

Star-Nosed Mole

found on: https://martygumblesworth.files.wordpress.com/2011/03/starnosedmole.jpg?w=300

Most animals interpret the topology of their environments with favor to a particular sense. Humans favor sight. Dolphins favor sound. Moles favor touch. And the star-nosed mole possesses the most highly-developed touch organs known, right in its nose.

It would be an understatement to say that the star-nosed mole has two hands growing out its face. It wouldn’t even suffice to say it has four. Not to mention that a light knock to your hands does not kill you. Needless to say, star-nosed moles have mighty sensitive sniffers. This super-sensitivity results from clusters of mechanoreceptors that project up through columns of epidermal cells from the dermis up to the skin’s surface. These structures are made of familiar things–skin cells, nerve endings, and so forth–but their arrangement is so specialized as to earn them the title of “organs” (Eimer’s organs, specifically). And a star-nosed mole’s nose has about 25,000 of them, and it’s only 1cm wide. Your nose barely even contains that many tactile nerve endings.

An article in Nature dubbed the star-nosed mole that “fastest-eating animal” (segues to a fastest-eaters edition of The Most Extreme, but that’s for another time). The heavy myelination of Eimer’s organ neurons improves signal transmission from the sense organs to the mole’s brain, where analysis of the edibility of an object can take as little as 120 milliseconds, which borders on the limits of neuronal transmission speed. This animal’s nose helps it evaluate food in 120 milliseconds. Extreme.

As if that wasn’t enough, the star-nosed mole can smell underwater by exhaling nose bubbles onto something it wants to smell and then inhaling them. How extreme is that?

The Elephant

found on: https://i2.wp.com/sneezl.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/07/elephant-gross.jpg

Elephants are sort of extraordinary. They’re the largest living land animals, they mourn their dead, have conveyor belts for teeth, and destroy civilizations when they’re sexually frustrated. Oh and they paint, too.

They also have trunks, which are of course just awesome noses.

Elephant trunks are in many ways the equivalents of human hands. Elephants use them to greet one another, embrace, and play. They use them to pick things up and put food and water in their mouths. They can bathe themselves by sucking up water into the body of the trunk and then spraying it on themselves. They can snorkel. They can pick up tiny seeds without crushing them, plant them, wait for a tree to grow, and then uproot it.  And, naturally, they can use their trunks to forage for or store goods in the butts of other elephants. The trunk is a nose that knows no bounds.

And of course, elephants have stupendous olfactory senses, which are augmented by their ability to direct their trunks towards or away from the sources of aromas. Extreme? Yes.


33 Signs You Might be an Anime Character

Ouran Host Club

1. When you become vindictive or angry, your teeth spontaneously become sharp.

2. During periods of overwhelming emotional arousal, your pupils and irises are overtaken by raging sclera.

3. You have projectile tears.

4. When you sleep, a giant booger bubble emerges from one nostril, serving as a visual indicator of your breathing patterns.

Elfen Lied

5. When stressed, nervous, or humiliated, you clench your fists about your skirt. If a skirt is unavailable, you ball up your fists regardless. A skirt helps though.

6. From a frontal view, your eyes appear to comprise approximately 50% of your facial area.

7. Your hair is incorrigibly sharp, possibly even useful for making shish kebabs.

8. You have a highly diminished or nonexistent nose.

FLCL

9. Substantial emotional arousal produces unusual facial discoloration. Sometimes, the color may appear to “fill your face up”, as if filling a teacup.

10. Your mouth is capable of exceeding the bounds of your face.

11. Your hair is naturally an absurd color. Simply absurd. Like lavender.

12. Your life has no meaning unless you are between the ages of 10 and 17.

found on: https://i1.wp.com/i21.photobucket.com/albums/b295/ryushe/hidekiispointing.jpg

13. Your reactions to mundane situations are pronouncedly extreme. Untied shoelace? RIP OFF YOUR EYEBROWS AND CALL THE POLICE.

14. Your palm pilot enables you to transform into a superpowered alter ego with a themed outfit.

15. Your legs are about twice as long as the rest of your body.

16. Your legs are about half as long as the rest of your body.

17. You can eat volumes of food exceeding the volume of your body. Obviously your digestive system makes use of Link’s item bag or some such.

18. You are persistently cross-eyed.

19. You wear innumerable bells and whistles. Literally.

20. On the whole, your American voice actor is terrible.

21. When embarrassed or in a tense situation, you can conjure a large tear about your head.

22. Your high school drama causes stars, hearts, or other clichéd images to pop into existence.

23. All of your friends have some martial arts specialty.

24. Upon having an epiphany, you strike a pose.

DBZ & FLCL

25. Your cat is a tiny little black fellow who spends his time perched on your shoulder, eyes constantly wide. If he meows, it is a ridiculous sound that no one would ever impute to a cat. It sounds more like a tea kettle wheezing.

26. You constantly verbalize your inconsequential and obvious thoughts.

27. You talk to yourself in front of EVERYONE. Doesn’t matter who it is. You’re going to talk to yourself in front of them. And you’re going to say something stupid.

28. You are furry, striped, have cat ears, and/or a tail. Possibly even paws.

Golden Boy

29. You will go to ludicrous lengths to have sex, including riding a bicycle on a telephone wire.

30. Your hair covers your eyes, and yet, you see.

31. There are demons at your school. Yeah, it’s pretty cool. Sometimes you fight them. You know, if you can flip your hair out of your eyes. It’s pretty cool. You’re such a cool guy. But whatever.

32. Your sword is nonsensically large.

Escaflowne

33. There are things like ^^this^^ where you come from.

In conclusion, the world of anime is a thermodynamically preposterous place, and it would be most frightening to ever visit it. Thankfully, we can just watch it instead. And, naturally, consider this a cordial invitation to post more signs you may be an anime character in the comments section. O.O


Look at this idiot

Look at this idiot. He looks ridiculous!

found on: https://i1.wp.com/cichlid.umd.edu/cichlidlabs/kocherlab/EvolutionaryGeneticsRC/stalkeye.jpg

Honestly, what on Earth compelled this moron to have eyes protruding at the apexes of stalks perpendicular to its body?

Now see, here’s a reasonable fruit fly, with its eyes no further from head than need be:

found on: https://i1.wp.com/www.copyright-free-pictures.org.uk/insects/fly.jpg

And then take one more look at the stalk-eyed fruit fly:

HAI GUYZ I'M STUPID

Ludicrous!

Perhaps you’re thinking, “Aw, that trait was selected because it’s advantageous in the fruit fly’s environment.” Seriously though, I can conceive of no possible advantage to these eyes. They’re really more of an obstacle than anything else.

As it turns out, the force to blame is a mutation in female fruit flies. Said mutation spurs these insects to prefer males with eyes that stick out. This preference emerged even before there were any stalk-eyed males, but as soon as those males started appearing (again, random mutations at work), ALL the ladies preferred them, and then subsequent generations were born with progressively longer and longer stalks. In essence, the only advantage offered by the stalks has to do with sexual selection, and the only reason they haven’t died out is because the stalks aren’t sufficiently disadvantageous as to render the flies totally discombobulated.

The female preference bias is probably at work in many birds, especially those species in which males have absurdly flagrant features and females do not (peacocks being the most obvious example). It is amusingly evident in ducks, though in a purely structural (as opposed to observationally preferable) way. Female ducks have, over time, developed increasingly convoluted vaginas, thus hindering all but the mightiest would-be penises from getting very far. As such, in strange divergence from most birds (most male birds transmit semen using multi-purpose cavities called cloacas), ducks have evolved ballistic penises of generationally increasing convolution proportional to that of the females’ vaginas. These organs come in the most outrageous corkscrew shapes:

found on: https://i2.wp.com/www.wired.com/images_blogs/wiredscience/2010/08/duckpenis.jpg

So, to all men who’ve inherited undesirable traits from your fathers: you know they’re not to blame.


The lolz of Sci-Fi Terminology

found on: https://martygumblesworth.files.wordpress.com/2011/01/1-world27sfinest-eccomics.jpg?w=214

BS sci-fi is funny. Need to make a black hole to suck up your excess garbage? Use red matter! How about the ability to run super fast? Harvest and activate a metagene! Need to go back in time? Well, if you run fast enough…

When it comes to the BS science canon of sci-fi universes, its adjoining terminology can become… hilarious, to say the least. In some stories, it comprises half the entertainment value. Just take a look at the following list, which includes little jargony treasures from Asimov to Zoids:

Jupiter brain, positronic brain, hyperdrive, plasma rifle, phased polaron cannon, phased plasma torpedo, transphasic torpedo, magnetometric guided charges, metreon cascade, tachyonic antitelephone, suspensor, disruptor, replicator, transporter, tricorder, Fuzor, axial compressor, universal constructor, oscillation overthruster, Nutrimatic Drinks Dispenser, Ixian damper, Andromeda Ascendant, Dyson sphere, Tipler cylinder, Holtzman drive, Quantum Eisengate Device, MSN-001A1 Delta Plus, Gundarium Gamma alloy, super-mecha, Centauri Superweapon, Technodrome, orgasmatron, Cybertron, Megatron, Tron…

Just adorable, no?

The form of these neologisms and terms tends to find inspiration in popular science; the “positronic brain”, for instance, is the 1930’s brainchild of Asimov with deference to the then popularly publicized positron. There are other guidelines, too–many of which are rooted in the basics of ordinary science terminology. The Greek alphabet is slave to the jargon of many disciplines: organic chemists use it to distuinguish isomers, neuroscientists to categorize the frequency of brain waves, nuclear physicists to designate different forms of particle emission, etc. In fact, when it comes to scientific and sci-fi terms, anything Greek in nature is good, be it the alphabet, mythology, or just the Greek roots for common scientific prefixes and suffixes. It’s surprising Star Trek technologies don’t include a “feta impulse cannon”.

As to prefixes and suffixes for fictional nomenclature, Transformers really takes the initiative in being transparent. “Cybertron” and “Megatron” are excellent examples, containing no traditional core roots and pre/suffixes only. Breaking these words down etymologically, they just mean “computer device” and “great device”. And then, of course, there’s Tron. “Device”. Brilliant. Succinctness is good.

Evidently, something about the Greek suffix “-tron” really has an appeal for sci-fi; naturally, this comes from the word “electron” (along with others like “neutron”, “cosmotron”, and “cyclotron”–those last two almost sound fictional, don’t they?) and the subsequent “electronics”, the latter of which tends to be at the core of many sci-fi technologies. Suggesting functionality is also a quintessential facet of sci-fi suffixes; everything is an “ator” or “ater” of some kind. Clearly, in the future, all objects will perform single functions and will be accordingly named. Violins will be a brand of “musicotron” and violinists a type of “musicator”.

Things like “cyber-“, “mecha-“, and “techno-” are all obvious prefixes for sci-fi; they mean “computer”, “machine”, and “technology”, respectively (what a surprise). Others, like “hyper-“, “mega-“, and “super-” are obvious because of the classically exaggerated nature of sci-fi technology; it’s harder, better, faster, stronger, and all that. Throw the word “quantum” or a fictional scientist’s name which sounds like Einstein in front of your prefixed+suffixed word and you’ve got yourself the seeds of a winner.

Here are some other hints: toss in a random amalgam of letters (X, Y, and Z are especially recommended) and numbers in front of everything to make it seem like an item in a series. If it’s been improved repeatedly, it’s clearly ingrained in the technological history of a given sci-fi canon. 3-dimensional shapes add flair too; a “protoplasmic laser sphere” has way more gravitas than a “protoplasmic laser circle”.

Bearing in mind these traits of sci-fi terminology, I’ve invented something for you. It’s called the:

X800-Omega Cassiopeia quantum hypersuperluminotronic Eisenbeam technobooster megacybermechyone pyramid drive

If you can guess what it is, you get one absolutely FREE.

found on: https://i2.wp.com/www.atomic-robo.com/wp-content/uploads/nazi-super-science.jpg

And on that note, thanks for reading.