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Is there an in-universe explanation as to why characters in Star Trek are often excessively specific when speaking?

For example, why refer to a "sonic shower", when they are the standard type of shower on board Voyager and normally such unnecessary detail would be quickly dropped. In real life we rarely refer to our "electric power shower".

Turbolifts, isolinear chips, hyper spanners...

The most famous example is probably Picard's "tea, Earl Grey, hot", which makes you wonder why he doesn't just make that the default option when he asks for "tea", but there are many others.

Out of universe the explanation is probably that it adds some technobable texture to the dialogue and reminds the viewer that it's the future, but is there an in-universe explanation?

closed as too broad by Valorum, Paulie_D, TheLethalCarrot, Jenayah, Skooba Jan 3 at 13:32

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    "tea, Earl Grey, hot" - Earl Grey isn't the standard tea bag and whilst tea is generally hot some people would like it warm or even cold. Not everyone knows everyone's drink order. I personally have my preferences engraved on my mug to make it a bit easier. – TheLethalCarrot Jan 3 at 13:01
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    I always just assumed that regular (as we would see them) elevators, water showers, spanners etc. are still in use somewhere in the Federation, so they still have to distinguish them. – Kozaky Jan 3 at 13:07
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    This seems excessively broad. People use specific words for specific reasons, for example because some quarters contain real (water) showers, making the distinction relevant. Picard presumably refers to his drink order in specific terms because he's spent most of his life without his own personal replicator, etc – Valorum Jan 3 at 13:07
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    You... shower in electricity? – gowenfawr Jan 3 at 13:25
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    Interesring insight into the in-universe culture. If anything, language today lags tech innovations - computers still dump "core", we "dial" and "hang up" phones, and we save data on Solid State "Disks". – Robert Columbia Jan 3 at 14:39
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"Tea, Ceylon-Assam, one lump of sugar and plenty of milk."

Within the universe, adherence to correct technical language is something that sets professionals apart from amateurs. "This is my rifle and this is my gun" and all that.

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    Your answer reminds me of the scene where Tom Paris struggles with the replicator and its many soup options. None of the current Starfleet members struggled with the replicator, but the way he gets angry with it makes him look less professional. – Kozaky Jan 3 at 13:55
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    There's also some scenes when asking the computer/replicator systems for something where the system keeps coming back asking for clarifications... it's possible when you know the system's going to do that - you pre-empt it and just give it all the info. in a single sentence instead of the entailing back'n'forth. – Jon Clements Jan 3 at 13:59
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    @JonClements if you want to convert that to an answer it will get my up-vote. – user Jan 3 at 14:23
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    ...Additionally, the OP did note to us something computers do for us now: remember preferences. There's really no reason Picard's replicator shouldn't remember his favorite tea. (Unless he gets enough of it from more public replicators, AND those replicators aren't sufficiently tied into the ship's systems enough to know who is asking.) – Dúthomhas Jan 3 at 18:22
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    To expand on Jon Clement's earlier comment, take for example Google Home. Even though it understands natural speak commands quite well, certain commands do have a syntax to them to make it easier for parsing ("OK Google, <do action> <on/from service> <on/to device>"). You can provide all of the info up front, or you can let Google ask for clarification (ie, which device, if multiple are present and there is no default, or multiple can service the command - like playing music on a speaker or the TV). So who is to say computers in the future can't be the same way to make the programming easier? – Remy Lebeau Jan 3 at 19:54

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