Slang in Space

It’s occasionally amusing to browse through the transcripts of austronaut conversations in NASA’s Apollo Lunar Surface Journal, looking for little interjections where editors “explain” various slang terms or pop-culture references used by the astronauts. By my count, for example, “sock it to me” has been said twice on the surface of the moon – once during Apollo 12, and again during Apollo 16. (The link explains the phrase, for those not familiar with it.)

It gets one to wondering, though, what other Americanisms future astronauts might employ should mankind ever return to the lunar surface. “Fo’ shizzle”? “Talk to the hand”? “Word”? (I’ll stop now, lest my unfamiliarity with contemporary popular culture become too obvious.)

I am, obviously, a fan of Laugh In, so in closing I’d like to leave you with this August 2005 weekly update from Oak Ridge National Laboratory’s Accelerator Systems Division, where, in reference to the “user-friendlification” of a piece of software, the wit who writes these things had added “Look that up in your Funk and Wagnall’s.” Ah, the sweet smell of geekery…

Published in: Geekiness, General, History | on July 15th, 2007| Comments Off on Slang in Space

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