Every language has its own version of um. French has euh, Korean eum, Finnish öö, Russian eh; even sign languages have signs for um. The fact that most languages have some kind of um suggests that it serves a natural and important language function.
So what is this important language function? Why do people say um? Not because they are nervous. Scholarly studies of the word reveal that the use of um does not correlate with anxiousness or any particular personality traits. Rather, um is used to signal an upcoming pause—usually uh for a short pause and um for a longer pause. The pause may be needed in order to find the right word, remember something temporarily forgotten, or repair a mistake. Um holds the floor for us while we do our mental work. It buys some time for thinking.
I hate when people make you feel bad about saying um, and I was always told it made me sound stupid.
hi uhh i'm kinda new to doctor who and i was wondering if you could explain the thing about the tardis to me? i wanna know exactly what she if but i feel so lost in everything moffat has said. is she a machine? is she living? is it even a 'she'? idk, but i see other people call it a she so yeah. basically i'm so lost, but i saw your post and i thought you might just be the person to explain to me, if that's okay!
Asketh - Anonymous
To add a bit: the TT Capsule casing is grown, rather than built, and the technology is advanced to the point it’s not really recognisable as being technology, rather than a being in its own right. Rather like the humanoid form of Gallifreyans themselves. The TARDIS’ casing vibrates—breathes, as Ian Chesterton said in the very first episode.
The Block Transfer Computations used to create and maintain the plasmic shell of the TT Capsule, as well as the interior’s ever-shifting room configurations, weren’t able to be handled by what humans would see as a computer, but rather required organic matter called protoplasm.
So the TARDIS herself is alive (and female only in the way that she is a method of travel and those are, by human tradition, female), and the casing she inhabits is organic: commonplace for Gallifrey, and considered machinery, but certainly alive. She’s able to communicate with the Doctor and vice versa, and has a psychic link as part of their symbiotic relationship.
I’m going to stop myself from nerding about Block Transfer Computations.
ALTHOUGH, something interesting I’d like to make note of here… In The Doctor’s Wife, the TARDIS herself refers to the other TT capsules as female.
The TARDIS is called a she because all ships are ‘she’. I’m fairly certain the TARDIS doesn’t have (or need) a gender, as gender is a social construct and wouldn’t really apply.
PHYSICALLY, the TARDIS is a machine (more or less), but the body is just a shell, it’s not her. My body is not me, even my brain is not really me - I am my memories, my thoughts and feelings and experiences. The TARDIS also has memories, thoughts, feelings, experiences, friends, opinions, anything you need to classify her as living. The Fifth Doctor at one point said she is “more than a machine”. The TARDIS is actually a non-corporeal telepathic creature that inhabits a machine.
Most TARDISes (or TT capsules) are not as willful/sentient as the Doctor’s, probably because he encouraged this in her, and they are often called simply machines. But as Eight says, “[The Time Lords] are not evil enslavers of their TARDISes. The relationship between a Time Lord and his TARDIS is infintely more complex than that. And frankly.. well, it’s private.” (Wink wink.)
And for the record, there have also been TARDISes with biological humanoid bodies, the type 102/103. The Doctor travelled in one of these called Compassion for a time, when his own TARDIS had been (temporarily) destroyed.
Hope this helped, although probably it just made you more confused. :)
"I’m thinking that all of my sisters are dead. That they were devoured, and that we are looking at their corpses."
And I’d like to take this moment to point out that they don’t speak English. The conversation we see is almost certainly taking place in Modern Gallifreyan. We see it in English because that’s the standard on English media—no matter what language something takes place in, it’s presented in English. The only time we see those other languages is if a) it’s for comic effect, b) only some of the people in the scene speak the language, or c) everyone is expected to know the meaning of what’s being said: mi casa es su casa, etc.
The thing about languages is that there are concepts within them which often do not directly translate. Like, say, a gender-neutral pronoun referring to someone’s fifth regeneration: chances are, that’s going to end up turning into “he”, or maybe “she”: it becomes gendered, and loses the information about the regeneration. Of course it does, because that’s not a concept English has except in re-purposed, not-entirely-accurate words. “My sisters” is another example of that: English doesn’t have a word for a group of genderless non-corporeal beings which the speaker feels a strong connection to. But they’re ships—traditionally female, in English—so “sisters” works well enough in the figurative sense for the basic meaning, as well as we mere humans can perceive it.