STAR TREK PLANET VULCAN PROPER NAMES

Spook, Spuck, Spack, Speek, Spouk, Spaak, Spilk, Spiak, Spunk, Spank, Spink...

In May of 1966, four months before Star Trek premiered on NBC, the show’s producers exchanged a chain of memos in which they discussed, with tongue firmly in cheek, a system by which to name Spock’s fellow Vulcans.

Please note, you need not be a Trekkie to enjoy this chain of correspondence. And if you haven’t done so already, subscribe!


TO: Gene Roddenberry

FROM: Bob Justman

DATE: May 3, 1966

SUBJECT: STAR TREK PLANET VULCAN PROPER NAMES

Dear Gene:

I would like to suggest that all proper names for denizens of Mr. Spock’s “PLANET VULCAN” follow a set routine. To wit: all names begin with the letters “SP” and end with the letter “K.” All names to have a total of five letters in them—no more and no less.

Therefore: Mr. Spock aptly fits this pattern. Other names would be as follows:

Spook, Spuck, Spack, Speek, Spouk, Spaak, Spilk, Spiak, Spunk, Spank, Spink, Spenk, Sponk, Spilk, Spalk, Spelk, Spolk, Spulk, Spirk, Spark, Spork, Sperk, Spurk, Spawk, Spauk, Speuk, Spuik, Spouk, Splak, Splek, Splek, Splik, Spluk, Spakk, Spekk, Spikk, Spokk, Spukk, Spark, Spirk, Sperk, Spork, Spurk, Spxyx.

Hope that the suggestions are of immense help to you. I remain,

Your humble and obedient servant,

Robert H. Justman


TO: Gene Roddenberry

FROM: Herb Solow

DATE: May 5, 1966

SUBJECT: PLANET VULCAN PROPER NAMES

Dear Gene:

In an industry that is founded on the uncontrollable appetite for creativity, it is indeed heartwarming for the management of a major studio to receive a copy of a memo that deals with such an intensely competitive and accurate discussion of proper names on the planet Vulcan.

However, what with time being of the essence; with our schedule calling for production: of our series to commence in three very short weeks, I feel enough time–rather more than enough time—has been spent devising names for Mr. Spock’s relatives. With a deep respect for creativity, I feel we should go on to something of greater importance.

H.F.S.

P.S. Have you thought of the name Spiik? Or Sprik? Or Sprak? Or Sprok? Or Spruk? Or Spudk? Or Spidk? Or Spuck? Or Spisk? Or Spask? Or Spesk? Or Spask? Or any of the other seventy-eight I already devised?

P.P.S. Please refer to Mr. Justman’s May 3 memo and you will find that the fifth name in column one is the same as the sixth name in column three. I understand that you science fiction people with your technical jargon have a word to describe this happening. It is known as a “mistake.”

P.P.P.S. What do you say if all the people on the planet Vulcan are lawyers (interesting idea) and they all have a firm name like Spook, Speek, Spork, Splik, and Roddenberry? (The last name is necessary to keep the audience aware at all times that this relates to science fiction.)

P.P.P.P.S. Also note that in the May 3 memo the eighth name in column two is the same as the eighth name in column four. Also the tenth name in column two is the same as the ninth name in column four. There are probably others, but my time is too valuable to waste pointing out that the seventh name in column one is the same name as the third name in column two.


TO: Herb Solow

FROM: Bob Justman

DATE: May 6, 1966

SUBJECT: STAR TREK PLANET VULCAN PROPER NAMES

Dear Mr. Solow:

I refer to your memo, dated May 5, 1966. Any Vulcanite or science-fiction aficionado would know that the fifth name in column one (Spouk) is pronounced “Spook.” Whereas the sixth name in column three(Spouk) is pronounced “Spowk.”

The eighth name in column two (Spirk) is pronounced “Sperk.” Whereas the eighth name in column four (Spirk) is pronounced “Speerk.”

Also, the tenth name in column two (Spork) is pronounced “Spawrk.” Whereas the ninth name in column four (Spork) is pronounced “Spohrk.”

Also, the seventh name in column one (Spilk) is pronounced “Spilk.” Whereas the third name in column two (Spilk) is pronounced “Speelk.”

Consider yourself chastised.

Your Phrend,

Bahb


TO: Robert Justman

FROM: John D. F. Black

DATE: May 6, 1966

SUBJECT: YOUR MEMO TO H. SOLOW RE: STAR TREK PLANET VULCAN PROPER NAMES

Dear Bahb…

I refer to your memo, dated May 6, 1966, regarding Mr. Solow’s memo, dated May 5, 1966 … specifically pertaining to paragraph three of your note. I certainly take no issue with your reference to the tenth name in column two (Spork) being pronounced “Spawrk.” This, of course, is common knowledge.

However…

I am forced to raise some question in regard to your “whereas.” By this I mean the ninth name in column four (Spork) as being pronounced “Spohrk.” The proper pronunciation for the ninth name in column four (Spork) is, in fact, “Sphork” rather than “Spohrk.” …unless, of course, you are one of those infected by the current trend toward excessive use of “jargon” and “common usage.”

I sincerely hope that you will take this slight criticism in the spirit in which it is intended.

Sincerely yours,

John D.F.


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