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July 1st, 2008


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07:05 am - timey-wimey wibbly-wobbly semanticy-wanticy
Okay, new Who fans, help me out with something which has been bothering me since Saturday night. We call this segment


You keep using that word.
I do not think it means
what you think it means.


For context, Merriam-Webster sez...
proc·la·ma·tion
Pronunciation: \ˌprä-klə-ˈmā-shən\
Function: noun
Etymology: Middle English proclamacion, from Anglo-French, from Latin proclamation-, proclamatio, from proclamare
Date: 14th century
1: the action of proclaiming : the state of being proclaimed
2: something proclaimed; specifically : an official formal public announcement
Where in this definition does it say "See also: group of cops in space"?

I'm serious here. It's been grating on my nerves, grate grate grate, ever since last Saturday's episode when we discovered what the Shadow Proclamation was, and we also discovered that Russell T. Davies has been using an entirely new and exciting definition of the word "proclamation" than what we'd known before.

Up until now, when we've heard the name (which is admittedly an awesome I Just Made Something Cool Up kind of name) it seems to have pertained to an actual proclamation, some kind of intergalactic peacekeeping document with rules and laws and whatnot. The Doctor invokes Convention 15 of the Shadow Proclamation to demand a hostile alien race identify itself and then open negotiations. Group of laws.

But then Naughty Space Nanny in the Fat Kids episode is told that "the Shadow Proclamation" has been alerted to her deeds of bad. Wait, what?

Finally we get to The Stolen Earth, where Doctordonnafriend go hippity-skippity over to the Shadow Proclamation Base and we realize that no, apparently "Proclamation" really does mean "group" nowadays. How'd this get corrupted? It was cool when it was a set of laws and conventions in the Awesome Stuff I Just Made Up category. Now it seems to be in the Awesome Stuff I Just Made Up But Didn't Think All The Way Through So It Doesn't Make A Lick Of Sense If You Stop To Think About It category, unless someone here can point me to an actual secondary usage of the word that does seem to define a group.

A better word would've been "Consortium", I think. Yeah, "The Shadow Consortium" has a nice ring to it, and the document they could use and enforce could still be the Shadow Proclamation. But perhaps Rusty plays World of Warcraft and didn't want another group of space mummies running about.

Or perhaps these rhino cops and their crazy white-haired pals are big fans of 60s pop and psychedelia, and since "The Association", "Big Brother and the Holding Company" and "Federal Duck" were all taken, decided to come up with another awesomely authoritative-sounding name. I dunno. Your guess is as good as mine at this point.

(22 comments | Leave a comment)

Comments:


[User Picture]
From:stankow
Date:July 1st, 2008 11:29 am (UTC)
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I'm gonna guess that the name of the agreement came to stand for the body that was formed to enforce it. Kind of like how "the Geneva Convention" is a recognized document here on earth, despite the Resolutions of the Geneva International Conference merely being a result of the Geneva Convention.
[User Picture]
From:tansu
Date:July 1st, 2008 11:39 am (UTC)
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This is also my position.
[User Picture]
From:janric
Date:July 1st, 2008 07:24 pm (UTC)
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Thirded. I figured there was an actual SP, and then the group known as the SP was formed as a result.
[User Picture]
From:tenlegspider
Date:July 2nd, 2008 01:54 am (UTC)
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That's how I semi-consciously interpreted it too.
[User Picture]
From:derspatchel
Date:July 1st, 2008 10:41 pm (UTC)
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I can accept the "reverse Geneva Convention" naming, er, convention. Still doesn't make the name any less st00pid.
[User Picture]
From:dcart
Date:July 1st, 2008 11:52 pm (UTC)
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I was thinking something similar from the context provided. I don't watch the show, though.
[User Picture]
From:jasonlove
Date:July 1st, 2008 12:13 pm (UTC)
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I figured it was an artificial plural term. You know, like "murder of crows", "pride of lions". Now we have a "proclamation of intergalactic enforcers": the Shadow Proclamation, the Federal Proclamation of Investigation, the Proclamation of Bizarro-Krypton, etc.
[User Picture]
From:derspatchel
Date:July 1st, 2008 11:43 pm (UTC)
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Ok, I can also accept this idea too.
[User Picture]
From:mmcirvin
Date:July 1st, 2008 12:51 pm (UTC)
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I figure the Shadow Proclamation is itself some sort of treaty organization, like NATO or the UN, named after their founding treaty, and they just hire Judoon as needed and as budget allows--since we've been told earlier that the Judoon are mercenaries/rent-a-cops.


Edited at 2008-07-01 12:52 pm (UTC)
[User Picture]
From:fancycwabs
Date:July 1st, 2008 01:41 pm (UTC)

Choose your own witty response!

(Link)
To say "The Shadow Proclamation was one of my favorite soul groups of the late '60s, better even than the Delfonics," turn to page 73.

To say "Look THAT up in your Funk and Wagnall's," turn to page 4

To say "Doctor Who?" turn to page 94.
[User Picture]
From:beth47
Date:July 1st, 2008 03:12 pm (UTC)

Re: Choose your own witty response!

(Link)
Wait, wait, I changed my mind!

What if I turned to page 4 but didn't take my finger off the original page? Can I go back?
[User Picture]
From:derspatchel
Date:July 2nd, 2008 12:35 am (UTC)

Re: Choose your own witty response!

(Link)
Was that a chicken joke?
[User Picture]
From:violetisblue
Date:July 1st, 2008 02:57 pm (UTC)
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The short answer to your question is that Rusty can't write, but then you knew I would say that.
[User Picture]
From:bismuthobsidian
Date:July 1st, 2008 03:46 pm (UTC)
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Maybe it is to say that they as a group are constantly in the state of proclaiming or their lives are "an official formal public announcement."

[User Picture]
From:derspatchel
Date:July 2nd, 2008 03:29 am (UTC)
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If they were a group constantly in the state of proclaiming then they should call themselves The Proclaimers and then we'd get to hear some nifty songing while we watched the episode!
[User Picture]
From:boggle_e_oggle
Date:July 1st, 2008 07:46 pm (UTC)
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Like those parents who incessantly played Beatles music and left their unfortunate children with the thought that it's "my parents' music," my mom's early-80's addiction to Doctor Who has inadvertently pushed me far from sci-fi's shores.

But recently overcoming the same phenomenon with respect to Black Adder has steeled my resolve to check out the good doctor, by means other than listening to Tom Baker narrate "Little Britain." I can beat this thing.
[User Picture]
From:boggle_e_oggle
Date:July 1st, 2008 07:50 pm (UTC)
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. . . though I did have a middle-school taste for historical fiction (or, as I like to call it, hi-fi), thanks to the dirty parts of John Jakes, so the hurdle to Black Adder may have been lower.
[User Picture]
From:toodleskitty
Date:July 2nd, 2008 09:45 am (UTC)
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Anyone who uses Tom Lehrer as an LJ icon and has more "Electric Company" photo icons of anyone I know, MUST be my LJ friend. May I add you?

[User Picture]
From:derspatchel
Date:July 3rd, 2008 06:05 pm (UTC)
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By all means, feel free! Pleased to meet you!
[User Picture]
From:toodleskitty
Date:July 4th, 2008 02:10 am (UTC)
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Wicked awesome! Thanks!

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From:littlegirltoast
Date:July 3rd, 2008 06:00 am (UTC)
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I got to watch a couple internet friends of mine argue once about nerd/underground rap... one of them was too cool to bother listening to Anti-Pop Consortium because they used such a big, unwieldy word for "group" or "posse" in their name. He got sonned by my other friend who pointed out that dude was notorious in his adulation for early 90s west coast style pioneers, the Freestyle Fellowship.

I pretty much buy every record by the Association I see, incidentally.
[User Picture]
From:fourcoffees
Date:July 3rd, 2008 09:38 am (UTC)
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I see it as "let's make up this cool-sounding name so people won't guess what a retarded bunch of losers it turns out to be."

God, I hated that episode.

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