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Questions tagged [terminology]

Questions that want to know the technical or special terms used in a specific field.

4
votes
6answers
229 views

Non-nautical term for space marines [closed]

Many science fiction stories describe soldiers who perform spaceship boarding/defense or planetary invasions as "space marines." This is by analogy to modern marines who historically specialize in ...
19
votes
7answers
2k views

What is the best unit of measure for the time portion of a non-earth-bound light“year”?

The question, Reference to Earth in Intergalactic Universe illuminates the shortcomings of the term "light-year", which defines a distance by mixing the universally constant speed of light in a vacuum ...
3
votes
2answers
208 views

Cardinal direction names at a north polar moon base?

There's a human settlement at the north pole of the moon large enough to sustain expansion outwards for say 100 km in all directions. Humans like to think in terms of four principal cardinal ...
22
votes
6answers
5k views

What would the Ancient Greeks call a wizard that can control life?

In this world set in an alternate Ancient Greece, science is combined with magic given from the gods. People who study healing arts usually worship Asclepius. There also is a cult that studies the ...
3
votes
1answer
78 views

Is “programmable biosphere” a good synonym for “terraforming”? [closed]

Is "programmable biosphere" a good (albeit more technical) way to describe terraforming, or does the phrase imply something different? If something different, what would the difference be?
5
votes
4answers
825 views

What is a good title (name prefix) for a class of society that serves as both a civil servant and clergy all in one?

I have a class of people in my world known as "Guardians." They are extremely powerful in this world and have special abilities that are unrivaled by almost every other class of people. They use their ...
3
votes
2answers
217 views

Naval warfare jargon [closed]

I'm writing a story that could end up with a battle between a squadron of alien invaders and a present-day U.S. Navy carrier battle group, and I'd like to insert some appropriate chunks of jargon in ...
4
votes
5answers
415 views

How does a sighted species explain that they can see

In a world I am building, there are two sapient species, named Ae and Be. Ae are tall but blind, while the Be are short and sighted. While it has been asked how a blind species would discover another ...
4
votes
3answers
476 views

Military reaction to an abandoned city

Info: I have a story idea that takes place roughly 100 years in the future where sea steads (ocean cities) exist. There are several different kinds of settlements, one of which is a Corporate City. ...
1
vote
1answer
71 views

Is “Psychoactive effect” the correct term?

I'm trying to describe an effect (in this case, a magic spell) that affects the mind, similar to caffeine or alcohol, but not a "substance". I want to use the correct scientific language if possible, ...
6
votes
3answers
403 views

Plutocracy 101 - Business Governance for Dummies?

A plutocracy is "a country or society governed by the wealthy", typically represented as a government made up of corporate interests. Simple enough to design and write, right? Nope! Turns out that ...
5
votes
2answers
367 views

What gender specific terminology should one use when talking about fantasy species?

A world that I work on has a number of different traditional fantasy species (or races) and we're getting a bit stuck with gender terminology for females. I've searched high and low on the web for ...
3
votes
9answers
683 views

What would be a politically correct term for “hominid”?

Aliens that look somewhat like humans probably wouldn't refer to themselves as humanoid or anthropoid. Is there a more generic term for beings who are bipedal, bimanual, and have a roughly human-like ...
4
votes
3answers
407 views

Classification system and measure of progress for science and technology branches and other areas of life

I'm working on modeling how a civilization can progress from some known state making conscious choices about the fields in which to apply its resources. Is there some good / theoretically sound / well-...
21
votes
11answers
5k views

Will computers be named differently in the future?

In a few science fiction settings, we can see computers being called differently. A terminal, a holosphere, a pad, anything techno-sounding. But from when computers were invented up until now, they'...
12
votes
6answers
2k views

Is there a technical term for a civilization that “eats” others to gain their knowledge, powers, etc.?

Is there any kind of technical term (and if not, can you think of one) for a civilization that “eats” others to gain their knowledge, powers, etc.? Such as… the Borg from Star Trek sort of did this, ...
6
votes
1answer
276 views

Why do the terms “large scale” and “small scale” seem to swap meanings? [closed]

Sometimes when someone says a map is "small scale", it seems to mean a map shows a small area, but the things are drawn large as a result, and other times it means the things in the map are shown much ...