Semi-Off Topic Pet Peeve

Have you noticed a growth in the number of T.V. shows about U.F.O.s lately? They seem to be proliferating in the wake of the ghost-related shows.


Anyway, I was watching one in the background the other day and I noticed a bit of poor word usage that seems to be common among the, for the lack of a better term, “U.F.O. Community.”

The speaker was talking about a sighting and saying that he didn’t know whether the object in question was a U.F.O. or not.

Now, let’s step back a minute. What does the term “U.F.O.” mean?

It means “unidentified flying object.”

Therefore, if the object is flying and you don’t know what it is, it is, by definition, a U.F.O. What I believe the speaker was trying to say was that he didn’t know if the object in question was of alien origin or not.

It really bothers me that people use “U.F.O.” to be synonymous with “flying saucer” or “alien aircraft.” They are not the same. They may overlap, but they are not the same. Erg!

There’s my rant for the month. Do you have any pet peeves that you’ve come across within the science fiction community? Please share them as a comment to this post.

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About the author

Carma Spence has been a science fiction fan since childhood. Her father first introduced her to Isaac Asimov and Ray Bradbury when she was about 7 years old. She's never looked back. YesterYear's Future is a passion project inspired by a class she took in graduate school called "Science Fiction and American Culture." She is now volunteering as Co-Web Director for the Science Fiction Research Association.

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