"Warp speed"

Beverly Flanigan flanigan at OHIO.EDU
Sat Nov 30 15:24:22 UTC 2002

At 12:03 AM 11/30/2002 -0600, you wrote:
> >
> > Date:    Fri, 29 Nov 2002 07:11:42 -0500
> > From:    Paul McFedries <mailinglists at LOGOPHILIA.COM>
> > Subject: Warp speed
> >
> > "Warp speed" has become a common synonym for "an extremely fast
> > speed," and is used all the time without reference to Star Trek. Does
> > anyone know if "warp speed" was used prior to the original Star Trek
> > series and, if so, who used it and when?
>The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction (John Clute and Peter Nicholls,
>ed.; St. Martin's Griffin, NY, 1995) has an entry for Space Warp (p.
>1142-1143).  "The term (along with 'hyperspace') may have been first
>used by John W. Campbell Jr. in _Islands in Space_ 1931 amazing
>stories quarterly; 1957)."
>Further on:  "Space warp has become such a cliche in sf that it
>allows endless variants.  One of the best known is the 'warp factor'
>used in Star Trek as a measure of velocity.  This is illogical on all
>levels."  Which raises the possibility that "warp speed" was _not_
>used in Star Trek.  (A quick look through the entry for Star Trek
>doesn't show anything helpful.)

Well, just last night I happened to catch a rerun of an early "Star Trek"
show, and "warp speed" was used at least twice.  Captain Kirk told whoever
to "bring it up to warp speed," or words to that effect.

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