Author Topic: Picking Nits: They Shouldn't be Called Ships and It Isn't a Navy  (Read 16699 times)

Cy83r

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Ships are water-borne vessels just as cars are land-bound even though both, when grouped, are called fleets.  So to, I would think, that spacecraft should be cognitively distinguished from the sea-going vessels to which they are so often compared.

One might think 'rocket' would do, but it has no latin root as 'Navis' (lit. ship) became 'Navy'.  A 'celestine' fleet sounds well and good, but to call such vehicles 'celestials' sounds far too pompous even though such things would be massive harbingers of change, sundries, and war such as their angelic and demonic namesakes were in ages past.

Occido ("Okkido", fall towards/fall down; from "cado", to fall) translates the intent well but fails to roll off the tongue, so my interest falls towards the origins of 'ship' which also happens to coincide on the germanic family tree with 'nave', the middle body of the architecture of a church.  If one does look at old hulls, they do indeed present the profile of an upturned church or hall; unfortunately, spacecraft may be of any design.  However, boat is derived from the proto-indo-european word meaning "to break/split", referring to its action upon the water, lending credence to the use of 'Cado', the only defining characteristic of spacecraft aside from the general term 'vessel' which takes use towards the word 'vas', i.e. vase.

'Vasy' strikes as a suitable replacement for 'Navy', perhaps mutating into something like Vaz, but 'Cado' remains difficult upon the tongue and the flow of modern english and attempts to rework the word leave one leaning towards 'Cadis' (lit. 'you fall') which is pronounced similarly to 'Cadus' (bottle, jar, jug), possibly the only other defining characteristic of spacecraft being that of a container.  A falling bottle suits the predicament of space travel more than aptly, I'd think.

Your thoughts?


P.S. Marines are now Celestines because angels often jump into hell for a fight.
« Last Edit: October 16, 2012, 10:56:17 am by Cy83r »
Jibreel: Yeah but [Hufer] that's like [Axis] complaining that his Toyota Camry is stuck in the mud and you responding "Well my M1 Abrams doesn't seem to be having much trouble."

Me2005

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Re: Picking Nits: They Shouldn't be Called Ships and It Isn't a Navy
« Reply #1 on: October 16, 2012, 11:12:06 am »
Meh, I call them Star Ships; as the intent is that of a ship which carries people to the stars rather than to new lands. "Vessel" would also work. Fleet is what I'd use for the organization, and troops or marines for the fighting men carried by it (not the people operating the ship).
 :-X
But you were dead a thousand times. Hopeless encounters successfully won. A man long dead, grafted to machines your builders did not understand. You follow the path, fitting into an infinite pattern. Yours to manipulate, to create and rebuild.

I know who you are.

You are destiny.

Cy83r

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Re: Picking Nits: They Shouldn't be Called Ships and It Isn't a Navy
« Reply #2 on: October 16, 2012, 05:10:45 pm »
Yes, but 'why', that's the point of posting in this thread, not merely some vapid opinion piece, I want motive, ladies!
Jibreel: Yeah but [Hufer] that's like [Axis] complaining that his Toyota Camry is stuck in the mud and you responding "Well my M1 Abrams doesn't seem to be having much trouble."

Kaian-a-coel

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Re: Picking Nits: They Shouldn't be Called Ships and It Isn't a Navy
« Reply #3 on: October 16, 2012, 05:39:05 pm »
I think you're right. Space is fully different from sea, so using the same words to designate both armed forces is somewhat silly.
You did some pretty awesome research here! I'll give it a try.

recapitulation:

1) Land based:
-soldiers: infantry
-vehicles: tank, cars...
-Adjective: Land

2)Sea-based:
-soldiers: marines
-vehicles: ships
-adjective: marine

3)Air-based:
-soldiers: none!
-vehicles: planes and helicopters.
-Adjective: aerial

4)Space-based (commonly):
-Soldiers: Space Marines!
-vehicles: Spaceships.
-Adjective: Space!
only the sea-based term with space before...

5)Space-based (Cy83r proposition)
-Soldiers: Celestines
-Vehicles: Occidos
-adjective: Celestial/celestine


It helps that the verb "occidere" mean all kinds of bad stuff (namely "to fell (like falling a tree), cut to the ground, beat, smash, crush, cut off, kill, slaughter, slay, plague to death, torture, torment, pester, ruin, undo, bring about the ruin of...), so pretty fearful when you think about it. also it has the same origin than "western" ('cuz the west is where the sun fall, ya see...)...

Interesting thing. I'll think about it.

Strait Raider

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Re: Picking Nits: They Shouldn't be Called Ships and It Isn't a Navy
« Reply #4 on: October 16, 2012, 05:51:26 pm »
TvTropes (as usual) provides the explanations.

In short, it's a very close analogue.

Space is an immensely vast and largely featureless void between distant pieces of land/planets. Human beings who find themselves in the intervening space do not survive long. For this reason, we build ships of various sizes and designs in order to cart our fragile shells from place to place.

Space is overwhelmingly unexplored, conjuring up the spirit from the Age of Exploration when the great explorers plied the oceans in search of knowledge, riches and fame.

etc, etc, etc.

As TvTropes kindly points out, this trope has become so ingrained in the minds of the population that it is likely that any common intraplanetary travel in the foreseeable future would use this terminology.

Rainman

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Re: Picking Nits: They Shouldn't be Called Ships and It Isn't a Navy
« Reply #5 on: October 17, 2012, 11:16:28 am »
Yes, but 'why', that's the point of posting in this thread, not merely some vapid opinion piece, I want motive, ladies!

1. Because, as you mention, no direct analogue or "proper" terminology exists.
2. Because the exact minutiae of its etymologyical accuracy aside, if you say "spaceship" everyone knows what you mean without need of further explanation.
3. Because no alternative examples I have seen are suitable or suitably pithy for universal basis. The Celestine Fleets of Moridyne/counterboarding teams of Celestines sounds awesome, yeah, but what if I don't want my faction to come across as overly religious?
4. Because when a perfectly serviceable, culturally embedded, and culturally accepted familiar term exists, people get irritated when arbitrary and unfamiliar/unnatural sounding terminologies are mandated in their place.
5. Because even if the new term is not met with irritation, it will be met with confusion, which is just as bad for gaining interest.

Consider the following likely scenario:
A: "Uhh, what the flipping heck is a Cado-Vasy of Astromotives?"
B: "It's a military or other organized group of vehicles designed to traverse between planets."
A: "Oh, okay. So a navy of spaceships then."
B: *teeth grinding* "No, it's a Cado-vasy of Astromotives! Your terms are etymologically inaccurate!"
A: "But it's still a spaceship, you've just given it a funny name you say we have to use. Why can't we just call them spaceships?"
B: "NO! ASTROMOTIVES! 'STARSHIP' IS AN ERRONEOUS TERM FOR PLEBIANS!"
A: *teeth grinding* "Right... Well, enjoy your astromotives then. I'm finding something else to do."
« Last Edit: October 17, 2012, 11:18:32 am by Rainman »
SCIENCE!
...IN SPAAAAAAAACE!

MrVorgra

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Re: Picking Nits: They Shouldn't be Called Ships and It Isn't a Navy
« Reply #6 on: October 17, 2012, 11:51:23 am »
Dosn't ship mean a construction that is designed to move the a liquid medium? (space is a liquid medium albeit a really low pressure)
Real Men drive vehicles without knowing how fast they are moving or how much fuel remains in the tank.

Kaian-a-coel

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Re: Picking Nits: They Shouldn't be Called Ships and It Isn't a Navy
« Reply #7 on: October 17, 2012, 01:07:14 pm »
Ugh. It's not liquid. It's gaseous.

Strait Raider

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Re: Picking Nits: They Shouldn't be Called Ships and It Isn't a Navy
« Reply #8 on: October 17, 2012, 03:05:21 pm »
Airships travel in a gas. :D

Cy83r

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Re: Picking Nits: They Shouldn't be Called Ships and It Isn't a Navy
« Reply #9 on: October 17, 2012, 03:05:34 pm »
Ugh. It's not liquid. It's gaseous.
This guy gets it, rockets are closer to aeronautical endeavors than naval, but the logistics of sea-borne operations fit closer to what we seem to expect of 'dry navies'.  See, 'dry' navy, that's why I'd be pleased with a new term.

Most terminology specific to one highly technical field is seen as useless jargon by the common public anyways.

And yes, all of this is officially vulgar latin.
  • Cadis OR Cadus/Spacecraft (Single)
  • Cadi/Spacecraft (Multiple)
  • Vasy/Fleet OR 'Dry Navy'
  • Vasi/Fleets
  • Celestial OR Celestine/Marine OR Maritime

It's merely a technical correction and only intended as such for those who wish to be technically accurate; I'm not out to eradicate the common parlance, but refine the erudite terminology.  The point of your replies is to, if you agree with the concept, have a fun etymological discussion on which terms are most appropriate and which abstractions of those terms sound best when spoken. (say that five times fast)

Airships travel in a gas. :D
Airships also float, like watercraft, making the comparison apt.  Spacecraft do not rely on floating as their primary motivation, nor do they use a gaseous medium for lift like aircraft... well, solar sails use light and dispersed solar particles for propulsion which could be technically construed as 'lift'.  Hmm, the more I think about it, the more I could condone an increasing comparison between vacuum rocketry and balloons.  However, one might note in support of my quest that 'aeronautics' eventually became 'aviation'.

This leads me back into my original though process, 'avis' is latin for 'bird'.  So would it not also be apt to call spacecraft after stars and planets?  I mean the literal words for stars and planets; 'Stellae' and 'Astron'

  • Stell(s)/Ship(s)
  • Astron OR Constellation/Fleet

I'm happy with renaming 'Marine' to Celestial.
« Last Edit: October 17, 2012, 03:21:16 pm by Cy83r »
Jibreel: Yeah but [Hufer] that's like [Axis] complaining that his Toyota Camry is stuck in the mud and you responding "Well my M1 Abrams doesn't seem to be having much trouble."

Strait Raider

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Re: Picking Nits: They Shouldn't be Called Ships and It Isn't a Navy
« Reply #10 on: October 17, 2012, 03:14:27 pm »
Ship (noun)
1. a vessel, especially a large oceangoing one propelled by sails or engines.
2. (Nautical) a. a sailing vessel square-rigged on all of three or more masts, having jibs, staysails, and a spanker on the aftermost mast.
                    b. Now Rare . a barque having more than three masts. Compare shipentine.
3. the crew and, sometimes, the passengers of a vessel: The captain gave the ship shore leave.
4. an airship, airplane, or spacecraft.

No need for new terminology, oceangoing vessels is only the most common usage of the term 'ship'.

Cy83r

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Re: Picking Nits: They Shouldn't be Called Ships and It Isn't a Navy
« Reply #11 on: October 17, 2012, 03:22:47 pm »
There is more than one way to skin a cat, the same can be said of the variety found in the English language, which, as we all know with the unfortunate advent of ebonics and today's memetic artillery duel, is highly mutable from generation to generation and even within each generation.

Not only that, but let's say somebody wants a new word for his roleplay culture to use instead of common english nautical terms.  Now there is a mild selection of thoughtfully pregenerated alternatives with a proper space-age flavoring to them, at the very least for inspiration if nothing else.

Ship (noun)
1. a vessel, especially a large oceangoing one propelled by sails or engines.
Automobiles can be called ships by this argumentation as can a beer bottle.  ;D
« Last Edit: October 17, 2012, 03:34:39 pm by Cy83r »
Jibreel: Yeah but [Hufer] that's like [Axis] complaining that his Toyota Camry is stuck in the mud and you responding "Well my M1 Abrams doesn't seem to be having much trouble."

Me2005

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Re: Picking Nits: They Shouldn't be Called Ships and It Isn't a Navy
« Reply #12 on: October 17, 2012, 04:43:20 pm »
Is there a problem with spacecraft???
But you were dead a thousand times. Hopeless encounters successfully won. A man long dead, grafted to machines your builders did not understand. You follow the path, fitting into an infinite pattern. Yours to manipulate, to create and rebuild.

I know who you are.

You are destiny.

Cy83r

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Re: Picking Nits: They Shouldn't be Called Ships and It Isn't a Navy
« Reply #13 on: October 17, 2012, 05:06:50 pm »
None really, but there's watercraft, aircraft and groundcraft, and then there's cars, trucks, tanks, planes, ships, boats, choppers, jets, and submarines.  Adding insult to injury, we have Armies, Navies, Marines, and the Air Force served by soldiers, marines, sailors, and pilots.

Space has... rockets and rocketeers.

P.S. come to think of if, since sailors are people who sail, then in space your primary action, especially with the new terminology, is to be falling.  Thus the crew of spacecraft can be called 'caderes' (rough translation "fallers").
« Last Edit: October 17, 2012, 05:14:37 pm by Cy83r »
Jibreel: Yeah but [Hufer] that's like [Axis] complaining that his Toyota Camry is stuck in the mud and you responding "Well my M1 Abrams doesn't seem to be having much trouble."

CmndrMarcsBirger

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Re: Picking Nits: They Shouldn't be Called Ships and It Isn't a Navy
« Reply #14 on: October 17, 2012, 05:08:08 pm »
Is there a problem with spacecraft???

^
|
This.


Why the would you even care for such a trivial thing as this? Its like wanting to create a new form of a square. You may call it whatever you want but it will still be a square and be called a square.

Those terms even sound un-appealing...  :-\