Never to Old to Avoid the Trekkie Redshirt Effect.

I ran across the link for this at Huffington Post. It is hilarious. But, it reminded me of a lesson I’d learned from my teen-aged son. To confess, I never considered myself a Trekkie–sure I loved the series and had seen all of them along with the movies but I wasn’t hard core. I did, or so I thought, know a lot more about Star Trek than my son. But at one of the ComicCon’s or other comic convention we attended, I was about to purchase a Star Trek T-shirt, when my son took it out of my hand and told me absolutely not. Puzzled, I looked up at him and he said, “Mom, the red shirt always dies.” Don’t laugh, but I’d never heard that before, nor had it occurred to me. I’m embarrassed to find out that its common knowledge. Apparently, redshirt is a writer’s slang term for a minor character who’s sole purpose is to dramatize a dangerous situation with his brutal death. It was apparently first used in Star Trek, but has become such a common technique among writers that it has a Wiki named after it, a book about it, and so on. Just goes to show me how much I don’t know.

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