I've seen this question which is looking for an in-universe answer, but I'm wondering about the usage of the word IRL.

I've been rewatching DS9, and just saw an episode where O’Brien is talking with Worf about their time on the Enterprise.

O’Brien: Come on, Worf. I came to talk.

Worf: About what?

O’Brien: Anything you want. Old friends, the Enterprise... remember... what’s-his-name? Lieutenant Barclay?

Worf: Who can forget him?

O’Brien: And those holosuite programs of his?

Worf: The Three Musketeers

O’Brien: Geordi waving that sword around.

It struck me as odd that O’Brien would refer to a "holosuite" onboard Enterprise. Was there any kind of real-world reason (like how we all pretend Tom Paris is not Nick Locarno) that the word "holodeck" was only ever spoken once on DS9 – during the pilot – or was this just a slip-up?

  • O'Brien likely just misspoke.
    – Valorum
    Dec 12, 2020 at 9:27
  • At a guess I'd think that decks are common on ships, so on Enterprise & Voyager they'd be more likely to use that term. Holo-projection rooms in other installations might not incorporate the word. It makes sense that Quark would prefer the word "-suite" because it sounds more like you're in a hotel, and a bit posher, considering his business. O'Brien has been on DS9 so long by then that that's the phrase he'd most likely use.
    – komodosp
    Feb 1, 2021 at 17:01

1 Answer 1


Real world reason, at that point the writers and audience had several years of the term "holosuite" being used and it would be habitual, unlike an early episode where everyone would be more used to the term "holodeck". In-universe answer, at that point O'Brien had been on DS9 several years where the word "holosuite" was used and using it to refer to, basically, the exact same thing would be habitual.

You can see this sort of thing in the real world all the time. I live in a mostly Inuit community and eventually was using "koana/quana" instead of "thanks" so often that when I'm traveling down south (back when I could, pre-COVID) that I'd frequently catch myself saying it.

  • Yeah. After many years living in the UK, on visits back to the U.S. I'd frequently confound local shopkeepers, clerks, etc. -- "cheers" in an American accent just doesn't mean the same thing there as it does in the UK... :-) (If I had any kind of British accent they'd probably not be confused, but ... I don't.) Dec 12, 2020 at 11:55
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    I assumed this was the case, just thought there might be a story in the woodwork somewhere. Thanks, and keep warm! (I’ve visited Yellowknife twice, in February and November. The cold was... bracing. Even for someone living in Edmonton!)
    – miken32
    Dec 12, 2020 at 14:04
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    Yellowknife is the subtropics compared to where I live. I'm as far north of Yellowknife as Yellowknife is to Edmonton. Dec 12, 2020 at 19:57
  • What you're saying, @KeithMorrison is that you're from so far north, you're in Russia? ;)
    – FreeMan
    Dec 14, 2020 at 19:06
  • No. I'm nowhere near Russia. Nor can I see it from my house. I can, however, see the Northwest Passage from my living room. That is, incidentally, not hyperbole. I can literally see it from my living room window. Dec 14, 2020 at 23:02

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