Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Trekkie or Trekker? Do you really care?

Recently, I was spellchecking an entry for one of my other blogs. One of the words that spellcheck tried to call me on was "trekkies." In itself, this isn't all that surprising; Trekkies isn't an "actual" word. What did catch my attention, however, was the word that spellcheck suggested that I might have meant.

So, spellcheck knows "Trekker," but not "Trekkie." Interesting.

As a longtime Star Trek fan, I'm well aware of the "controversy" surrounding these two terms. Once, I even knew a woman who took (mild) offense at being called a Trekkie, insisting that Trekker was the correct term. I'm assuming that at least one of the programmers behind spellcheck also has a very serious opinion in the matter.

This got me thinking...why is this such a big deal to some people, and does it still matter? To find out, I did a little research. The debate was summed up quite nicely by Wikipedia, which states:
Some Star Trek enthusiasts prefer the term "Trekkie", while some others self-identify as "Trekker". Self-identification as a "Trekkie" became even less popular after a famous national television parody in 1986; several self-described "Trekkers" were quoted as saying they "had a life" (contrasting themselves from "Trekkies").
In other words, the term "Trekker" was coined in reaction to a skit on Saturday Night Live win which William Shatner tells a convention full of Trekkies to "Get a life," the difference being that Trekkers don't need to be told to get a life.


A Saturday Night Live sketch.
Star Trek TOS - William Shatner SNL - Get A Life - MyVideo

Some people take things far too seriously.

For the record, I consider myself to be a Trekkie, and always have.

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