Device for transfering power on starships in the Star Trek universe, but more than that, a wonderful example of how the shows' reliance on technobabble has spun out of control. Anodyne, while sounding vaguely sciencey and mysterious, is a real word - Serving to assuage pain; soothing according to Webster. (Webster also says that the word (in a medical sense) in chiefly applied to the different preparations of opium, belladonna, hyoscyamus, and lettuce so I don't know quite how seriously to take him on this one. Imagine THAT salad.)

Andre Bormanis, science advisor for Deep Space Nine and Voyager explained his process this way:

I'll invent a term if we want something that's really kind of different - something that performs a function in the device that probably couldn't be performed by contemporary electronic components. So I've come up with things like an anodyne relay, dyne being a unit of force in physics. I just take that and add something to it, some Latin term that has a specific meaning that could describe in a functional sense some kind of a device that would make sense in that kind of a system.

Atkin, Denny. "The Science of Star Trek" in Omni.
Omni Publications International Ltd.
September 22, 1995. Fall, 1995.
Vol. 17 No. 8. Page 46. ISSN: 0149-8711.

The only problem is that he didn't check to see if the word actually existed in the first place. Now whenever I hear that term I immediately think of heads of lettuce shooting down a pipeline at incredible speeds. I just can't get the image out of my head.

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