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Two Further Notes On Syfy

1) Two of my Polish readers have just pointed out that, in Polish, "syfy" has a meaning somewhere between zits, filthy and scum. Oops.

2) This came up elsewhere, but: "sci-fi" is a term coined by fanboy no.1, the late Forrest Ackerman, a wordplay-happy man who also came up with linguist joys like "imagi-movie" and "futuristicostume." The term "sf" for science fiction/speculative fiction was coined by author Robert Heinlein some eight years earlier.

Published in brainjuice


  1. […] this transition is not, as Warren Ellis points out, with out its flaws: Two of my Polish readers have just pointed out that, in Polish, […]

  2. lunadude lunadude

    Since they are both dead, guess it is time for a new way to describe the genre.

  3. Maggie Maggie

    I am fond of “Sciffy” myself (pronounced skiffy) but nobody else uses it so I always feel a bit of a twat when I say it and then have to translate it to sci-fi ANYWAY.

  4. I am actually LESS appalled by the whole thing knowing that it’s a real word with a not nice definition.

  5. Seth Seth

    How the hell do they not see the obvious similarity to syphyllis if they do this? “Sweet, my favorite show’s on the syf!” Gotta say I’m Syfy-less than than thrilled at this change.

  6. Fred Davis Fred Davis

    Doesn’t “syfy” = “syphilis” in a non-polish cyrillic language? Not that it doesn’t sound like a horrible neologism for syphilis in english anyway… “SOZ, fgt 2 menshun lst nite, pos haz syfy drlng, mayb u need to get blood wrk dun. kthxby”

  7. Maggie, Skiffy is the *only* term I use to refer to that sad outfit. And there is a perfect solution to this entire matter. New ownership.

  8. CaptainElectron CaptainElectron

    It is a deprecated name for a deprecated culture that will enthusiastically throw any value out the door when told that “Yes, we can” … “Change”. Welcome to the third World.

  9. Wow, did CaptainElectron just make the change to SyFy political? That’s umm…interesting.

    Anyway, the change just happened a few days ago, so now’s as good a time as any to dig this post up. My wife (who never watched scifi in the first place) said to me (who watched scifi religiously back when it was good) “What the F*ck is SyFy? God, that’s an ugly word.

    I really don’t understand why they would rather change the purpose of the channel that already has its niche demographic to something more mainstream than create a new mainstream channel and keep both audiences. They’re freakin owned by USA Networks. Then again, I guess that’s my answer.

  10. Wes Wes

    Just goes to show that we’re de-evolving.

  11. I have to agree. The name “SyFy” does suck. At least in Canada, we have the SPACE network, which broadcasts everything from Sci-fi to Fantasy. I may not be American, but if I was on the Executive board for the network, I would have voted to keep the original name.

  12. original fan original fan

    f**k syfy i want sci-fi. i will accept anything but syfy, i will even accept skiffy

  13. Christian Christian

    Glad Im not alone in this one. It absolutely makes no sense to change it to syfy. Obviously, thats not how you spell Science Fiction (Syence Fyction to the ‘tards @ Sci Fi channel). It sounds like the rube who came up with the change in the logo: 1). is mentally handicapped, 2). was smoking some other kind of weed, or 3). his brains leaked out onto the floor because he was picking his nose with an awl.

  14. SyFy matches the shows of late.not to mention Wresling UGH I heard were that ECW was finaly being taken off yeh! ESPN does not have scifi. In UK and Austraila its still scifi great shows. All 5 treks,babylon 5,not to mention only their best original shows. Great movies. What happen here?

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