Brent Spiner on how Patrick Stewart's pronunciation of 'Data' changed how Americans say the word

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2019/08/14/brent-spiner-explains-how-patr.html

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Maybe related: after living in new york with it’s nassau ave, and listening to the beach boys sing about “nassau town” a thousand times, I keep inadvertently saying “Nah-saw” when I mean NASA.

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Pre “grew the beard” TNG has more nostalgia for me than pre “hired the Pratt” Parks & Rec.

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Wait, are you being serious? It’s Star Trek. People have written… quite a lot about that.

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Say whaaa?

As someone using “data” as the plural of “datum” since the latter 60s, I have never heard it pronounced any other way. However, $HERSELF observes that this may be an artifact of my being a parochial Americanophone, where she was exposed early to the Britophonic pronunciations of words like “Aunt.” Take that for what it’s worth.

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I took DP1 (Data Processing One) in high school in the Maryland suburbs of Washington, DC in 1977. We learned BASIC and COBOL. It was definitely day-ta.

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Reminds me of the time Data had to call out Dr. Polaski for her blatant insensitivity toward non-organic life forms.

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an all time favorite moment, particularly because the expectation would be that Data would explain the obvious difference in the vowell sound, but rather in a stroke of brilliant contextual awareness, points out the even more obvious overlooked by the Dr.

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Uh, no. It’s been Day-tah my entire life, and I predate ST:TOS by a few years.

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It was always day-tuh for me, too. That also seemed to be the standard in American STEM circles going back a long way.

Also, has anyone written about out how much … weirder? creepier? offbeat? … early TNG was?

Someone probably has. For myself, I always found that vibe really came out in episodes with Q (including the pilot episode). John De Lancie is one of those actors who really can have an outsized effect on the entire ensemble (although that can be said about most of the regular cast, including Spiner).

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I got the impression that when they brought in Dr. Polaski as a temporary replacement for Dr. Crusher the writers decided to go for a “McCoy/Spock” dynamic, except instead of dropping slurs like “Green-blooded hobgoblin” she’d just take every opportunity to point out that he wasn’t a real person. I don’t think it really ever worked on screen, it just made her look like a small-minded Space Bigot.

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It’s weird because for me (USA) it has always been DAY-tuh, but people I’ve worked with from the European countries say it the other way.

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I agree. Pulaski was a misfire of a character all around. No offense to Diana Muldaur, who’s a solid actor.

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I don’t know about Sir Patrick changing the way we pronounce “data” But I’m virtually certain that he increased the sales of “Tea, Earl Grey, Hot” By an order of magnitude.

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Honestly i don’t know what pronunciation i use now that i think about it. I’m kind of weird on how i say words because i change how i say them without much thought or reason.

I’m say “data” right now.

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And then you’ve got stuff like A New Hope, where Motti, played by an American actor in a London studio, says “datta-tapes”. I honestly can’t remember how I pronounced “data” before TNG. But I say it correctly now.

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Speaking of the early TNG episodes being weird: remember that episode where Data and Tasha Yar do it?

Yeah me either because I’ve long since drank it out of memory.

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As disturbing as it was it did lead to a pretty epic nerdcore rap

Futuristic Sex Robotz - Positronic Pimp

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I love the Tor.com rewatch summaries!

George Takei is seriously ripped and his performance is nothing short of brilliant and delightful. He makes his way to the bridge where he believes Kirk to be Cardinal Richelieu (snicker) and attempts to “rescue” Uhura, a “fair maiden” (“Sorry, neither!” she responds). He is only subdued thanks to Spock’s absurdly OP race bonus, the Vulcan nerve pinch (to which Kirk famously responds: “I’d like you to teach me that sometime.” No kidding! Sign me up, too!).

TOS had some great dialogue. “Sorry, neither!” was reportedly Nichelle Nichols’ ad lib.

Edit: Or maybe not an ad lib:


Credit to https://ask.metafilter.com/304474/Is-this-story-about-Star-Trek-real and the Star Trek fact checkers; the fandom is unreal.

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