Title: Sapient NOT Sentient
Fandom: Star Trek
Disclaimer: I don't own Star Trek, if I did they wouldn't continuously misuse the word "sentient" when they really mean "sapient".
Summary: One-Shot. Drabble. Wherein Q educates Picard and all the rest on the correct meaning of the word Sentient, and why they really should have said Sapient all along.
Sapient NOT Sentient
The Enterprise was in orbit around a newly discovered planet doing routine scans.
"Captain," Data said, "the scans indicate that the dominant species of this planet is sentient."
"Another intelligent race," Picard said. "I can honestly say that it never gets old to find beings like ourselves."
Q appeared in a flash of light, dressed in his Admiral's uniform, "Nonsense Jean Luc. You are making assumptions based on inaccurate grammar."
"Excuse me?" Picard sputtered indignantly.
Q rolled his eyes, "Sentience is a word that indicates that the being in question has feeling, emotions, and the ability to suffer. It has nothing to do with the intelligence of the species in question. Mr. Data's cat is a sentient being."
"How dare you come on my ship uninvited and critique my grammar!" Picard exclaimed.
"How dare I?" Q replied, "I dare because it's driving me nuts! The word you are looking for it sapience! Sapient beings are those who possess intelligence or wisdom! Mr. Data's cat is sentient but NOT sapient. You are both, though I'm beginning to doubt it considering your hideous excuse for intelligent dialogue."
Picard flushed angrily but said nothing as Q smirked triumphantly and disappeared in another flash of light.
There was dead silence on the bridge for a minute. Then Picard turned grudgingly to Data and asked, "When you said the beings on this planet were sentient Mr. Data, did you mean sentient or sapient?"
Author's Note: This issue has been bothering me for ages. Every time I see someone say Sentient instead of Sapient in a Sci Fi show, I want to go back in time and smack Gene Roddenberry upside his stupid head because I'm pretty sure he's the one that started all the confusion. Grr…