Just imagine being the kind of person who tries to justify using words with harmful historic connotations instead of just using a couple of slightly different words for things.


Like, you would not believe how many times I've seen people argue that they should use the word "manned" when talking about spacecraft which carry humans. Because that's the word people used to use in the 1960s and we must never ever change the words we use or something like that.

Meanwhile, even the NASA guidelines say to use the word "crewed" for the sake of inclusivity and actively discourage the word "manned" in modern publications.

Anyway, I know that the science bros love using words like "colonise" when they talk about space travel, because that's what sci fi writers decided to use decades ago and most people have never actually thought to change it. But there are so many other words which can be very easily used without carrying unfortunate historic connotations.

The future is what we make of it. Let's choose carefully what we take there, and be careful to leave behind anything which it would be better not to hold on to.

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Language can change pretty quickly too. I mean, when was the last time you heard someone talk about "surfing the information superhighway"?

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@InvaderXan oh I was wondering if there was a good alternative to "manned", thanks! :3

@InvaderXan oddly recently, actually! from an insurance commercial advertising how easy it is to order insurance online by phone, with a jokey parallel to trying to do it online elsewhere with archaic services invoked with intentionally anachronistic language and being forced to *call* to order

@carcinopithecus I think it's fair to say, if someone's purposefully using archaic language, it doesn't really count 😋

@InvaderXan And we are so much poorer for it. We live in a timeline with "cyber criminals" when it could have been Information Superhighwaymen ... Or Superhighwaymyn even.

I thought they use the word colonize because it is part of the white supremacist project: to destroy life everywhere.

The whites colonized earth: they are in the process of destroying all life on the planet.

The whites want to colonize other star systems: they want to wipe out life in other star systems.

And they'll keep going until life in the universe is eliminated: they're end goal.

Isn't that why they try to stop changing manned? because it would weaken the patriarchy (a major pillar of the violent demonic white system)?

@kam Whether or not that's the intention for all of them, it's still the implication behind it. Which is precisely why we need to change the language we use. And honestly, some of the people with the greatest power to do his are writers.

trying to think of a situation where we'd be expanding our population into other worlds, but is not tied to any colonialist agenda...

immigrants? (only works if there's an existing friendly civilization on the other world)

@carcinopithecus I'm quite fond of the word migrants. Or diaspora. That's quite a good word too. Though there's no reason not to coin an entirely new word altogether. After all, when humanity does this, it'll be an entirely new activity which no one's ever done before.

@InvaderXan do you have any example replacements for "colony"?

@snailerotica A few spring to mind. Habitat is a good general term. Outpost, arcology, or station could work, depending on size. If it's permanently inhabited, you could simply call it a city.

Or again, you could create a new term. In The Martian, Andy Weir coins the term "hab" for the outpost where the story takes place.

@InvaderXan stations are normally satellites, aren't they?

@snailerotica Oh, not necessarily. Inhabited locations in Antarctica are usually referred to as stations, for example.

@InvaderXan what's the alternate word? Explore? Inhabit?

@zzz Inhabit works perfectly well. Given how much vocabulary the English language contains, I'm sure there are other words which would work too. Truthfully, we don't have any particular word to mean "go and live on another celestial object", for fairly obvious reasons. Most other times that humans have done something new, we've also come up with new language to describe it.


Cue confused future kid:

"'Manning the spacecraft?' What did they do, install a weenie?"

@InvaderXan The only downside is that it sounds a lot like "Crude Mars mission" in my voice, which just implied it's a giant tin can powered by coke and mentos.

@diffractie About the only kind of rocket NASA can afford to fund right now, sadly

@InvaderXan @vy Ooooh I like that. Wonder if it could work in gaming to, like "I bet we could 3-crew this mission," etc.

@vy IIRC you retooted this (sunbeam.city/@InvaderXan/10412) about NASA replacing the language of “manned” spacecraft with “crewed,” and I liked the idea. Wanted to toss out a related idea and see what you both thought, was all.

Since last summer, announcements in our trains and train stations changed from "ladies and gentlemen" to "dear travellers". The backlash! I mean, "dear traveller" feels a lot warmer and more welcoming to me than just "a and b"

@StroomAfwaarts It’s weird how people are so determined to oppose things. Because you’re totally right, “dear travellers” is a lovely way to address people!

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