Star Words

Because words are an integral part of the writer’s craft, not to mention their greatest passion, here’s a look at the not-of-this-world origins of some beloved words.

The Dish

Kory Stamper notes how sci-fi influences our vocabulary:

Many words have their origins in science fiction and fantasy writing, but have been so far removed from their original contexts that we’ve forgotten. George Orwell gave us “doublespeak“; Carl Sagan is responsible for the term “nuclear winter“; and Isaac Asimov coined “microcomputer” and “robotics“. And, yes, “blaster”, as in “Hokey religions and ancient weapons are no match for a good blaster at your side, kid.

The genres also reintroduce or recontextualize already existing words:

Savvy writers of each genre also liked to resurrect and breathe new life into old words. JRR Tolkien not only gave us “hobbit”, he also popularized the plural “dwarves”, which has appeared in English with increasing frequency since the publication of The Hobbit in 1968. “Eldritch”, which dates to the 1500s, is linked in the modern mind…

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