Forrest J. Ackerman is credited with coining the term “sci-fi” at UCLA in 1954. It is the perfect way to describe the wide range of astonishing, imaginative, mind-expanding works of fiction that are grounded in some element of science, often taking what we know and projecting ideas about future consequences or technologies.
The Sci-Fi Channel, owned by NBC Universal, includes straight-on sci-fi like “Battlestar Galactica” and “Stargate Universe” and some non sci-fi programming that appeals to their audience as well. And now they are renaming and rebranding the channel as “Syfy,” infuriating the geeks and bloggers who are their core fan base.
The Chicago Tribune reported:
But the news hit the blogosphere with such fervor that it was as highly searched Monday afternoon on Twitter as the AIG bonus controversy. Reaction on Twitter fell along the lines of: “My instinct is to pronounce it Siphee which sounds like a certain disease. Fail.” Groups have already sprouted on Facebook, including: “Hey ‘SyFy,’ Geeks ARE your audience. Change it back to SCI FI!”
The network says they did this to have a name that could be trademarked. “Sci-Fi” is a generic term in wide use and cannot be owned by anyone. But that does not mean that this is the best they could do. It looks like it should be pronounced “siffy.”
Thanks to my beloved James Robenolt for inspiring this post!