Essay Example on Language of Science Fiction Fandom

Paper Type:  Essay
Pages:  5
Wordcount:  1194 Words
Date:  2021-06-28

Culture is the way of life of people and encompasses various aspects such as language, dressing, social habits, religion, and arts among others. Each culture comprises of many subcultures, which are groups that exist within a culture and have similar beliefs. Often, the subculture that people belong to provides them with a sense of identity and belonging. One of the main subcultures in the United States is the science fiction fandom. This is a community of people who are interested in science fiction and interact with each other due to this interest. Individuals in this subculture have a and extensive unique vocabulary that can only be understood by its members. To learn the language of this subculture an informant belonging to the group was interviewed. The informant, Randon, is a 35-year-old, physicist and an owner of comic book store and is a great fan of stars wars and star trek. Also, he has attended several comic conventions. The science fiction fandom has its own language where fans have adapted certain words and phrases to come up with jargons that only they fully understand.

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The interview with Randon allowed for a better understanding of the rich and fascinating vocabulary used in science fiction fandom. There were a total of five questions which focused on the meaning and function that the informant associates with the specialized language. The first question looked at the meaning of a science fiction word. The aim of this question was to understand the unique vocabulary that forms the language of science fiction. The second question considered how science fiction words are formed. This question provided information on how various aspects of the science fiction community influence their language. The third question looks at how language change occurs in the science fiction fandom and how this change is spread to the community. The aim of this question was to assess both the intrinsic and extrinsic factors that affect the language of the subculture. The last question looks into the future of science fiction language.

According to Randon, science fiction is all about technology and science of the future and uses some scientific principles. Also, most of its texts are written in an imaginary world out of the universe as it is explained and displayed in most of the comic books and movies. Randon narrates there are a lot of words and phrases that are used by members of the science fiction fandom, and there is even a dictionary to explain some of the words since new words keep on emerging. Some of the words include alien which means something new, and later on, it meant something from another planet. Ansible is another word that means a device that is used to send information across vast distance of space instantaneously. Other words include telepathy, moon base, tractor beam a word that is very common in star trek.

The terms that are used by these science fiction members are mostly formed by science fiction writers and novelists, and then the terms are adopted by the group. For instance, the term science-fiction was coined by Forrest Ackerman to differentiate the genre from pulp fiction and later on it become popular. Among the writers and novelist who have come up with science fiction words include William Gibson who formed the word cyberspace,' Murray Leinster coined the phrase first contact in his novel titled First Contact. The phrase Hive mind was coined James Schmitz in his story the Second Night of Summer. Most of these writers coined the words to fit the context of their themes in their novels, and some explain an imaginary universe. Moreover, there is a dictionary devoted to provide and explain more science fiction terms to its members.

Language in the science fiction fandom has changed gradually over time due to the influence of both internal and external factors. Internal factors include changes in the spelling of words, intergenerational language transmission and shifting of the meaning of the existing words. On the other hand, one of the main external factor is technological innovation. The spelling of words changes over time since every language evolves. For instance writer, Nictzin Dyalhis referred to a sci-fi gun as blastor with an o and later one the spelling changes to blaster with an e.' Intergenerational language transmission occurs as a result of a new generation reanalyzing the current language and coming up with different parameter settings that meet the needs of new development. Words and phrases used in the science fiction have shifted over time. For instance, the term alien referred something that is foreign but later on it has been used to refer to being from another planet. Technology has led to the emergency acronyms and neologism that help fans to understand each other in this digital age.

Changes in the science fiction language are spread to the community through several ways. One of this ways is through the reading of comic books and science fiction novels. Latest issues of the comic books and newly released novels may reflect the language change hence allowing fans to catch up quickly to the trend. Secondly, science fiction fans get to learn language changes through the viewing of newly released science fiction movies or sequels to existing ones. These movies may make it easier for the fans to understand the language change since they are already popular in the community. Apart from comic books, novels, and movies fans also get to understand the language change through attending science fiction conventions held at different times of the year.

The future of science fiction is likely to be influenced by the rapidly developing digital technologies of the modern world. These technologies have brought about the new world of possibilities and an endless array of imaginations that are aimed to change the life of human beings. Science fiction fans may come up with new vocabulary to describe things that are likely to be in existence in the near future. Already there are words such as nanobot that refer to hypothetical machines that will be made in the future. Thus, technological changes are bound to bring new vocabulary to the science fiction language


Science fiction fandom is one of the most popular subcultures in the United States. Just as other subcultures, science fiction fandom has its own unique vocabularies that are only understood by members. The fans ascribe various meanings and function to the specialized language. In order to understand this, it was necessary to interview an informant who has been a member of a science fiction fandom for more than five years. Randon, the informant, provided information on the meaning of a science fiction word, how science fiction words are formed, how language change occurs, how this language change is spread to the community, and the future of the science fiction language. The questions allowed for a better understanding of the science fiction language and vocabulary and how it defines the fans that belong to this community. Evidently, science fiction fandom is a unique group of people with common interests and ambitions and who have adapted certain words and phrases to come up with a jargon that they only fully understand.

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Essay Example on Language of Science Fiction Fandom. (2021, Jun 28). Retrieved from

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