in which aliens pit Kirk, Spock, McCoy, Scotty and Chekov against the Earps

NewAmerica

Senior Member
Mandarin
Does "in which aliens pit Kirk, Spock, McCoy, Scotty and Chekov against the Earps" mean "in which aliens make Kirk, Spock, McCoy, Scotty and Chekov to confront the Earps"?

Thanks in advance
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Kirk and Shock: Star Trek Oral History Beams Fans Backstage
...

“Specter of the Gun,” an episode of Star Trek in which aliens pit Kirk, Spock, McCoy, Scotty and Chekov against the Earps in Tombstone, Ariz. Credit: CBS, Youtube

-Scientific American
Source
 
  • Barque

    Senior Member
    Tamil
    It doesn't necessarily mean the former confronted the latter. It means the two sides faced off against each other. "To pit someone against someone" just means to make one face the other, without indicating who started the fight.

    The word "confront" suggests that there was a confronting party, one that was the first to display agression.

    You should drop the "to" before "confront" in your post.

    "The Earps" refers to Wyatt Earp, a famous figure from the American "Wild West" and, I suppose, other members of his family. It seems to be some sort of time-travel story.
     
    Last edited:

    The Newt

    Senior Member
    English - US
    It doesn't necessarily mean the former confronted the latter. It means the two sides faced off against each other. "To pit someone against someone" just means to make one face the other. [...].
    I would interpret "pit" as being a bit stronger. The two parties are either going to fight, or at least be on the verge of fighting. If I'm not mistaken, the origin of this use of "pit" is from the pit used for cockfighting, dog fights, etc.
     

    Barque

    Senior Member
    Tamil
    I agree. I was trying to say that the expression doesn't necessarily mean that the first-mentioned party was the aggressor.
     

    dojibear

    Senior Member
    English - Northeast US
    In the TV episode, the aliens force the two groups to fight each other. But that forcing is not part of the meaning of "pit". To pit A against B, simply means to arrange that A fights B. You might be a human fighter manager, or the owner of a fighting animal (cocks, dogs).
     

    NewAmerica

    Senior Member
    Mandarin
    Got it.
    But the title is not clear to me:
    The names are Kirk, Spock... yet the title is Kirk and Shock...
    What does Shock mean here?
     

    Barque

    Senior Member
    Tamil
    The writer was punning on Spock.

    The article has this line, just before the interview transcript (emphasis mine):
    Scientific American spoke with Gross and Altman to learn more about the never-before-told and often shocking tales they heard.
     
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