A lot of words have come to us from science fiction, such as robot, coined by Karel Kapec in his influential play “R.U.R.” (or Rossum’s Universal Robots) as well as now common scientific and popular terms like Zero-G and cyberspace.
But sometimes a word evolves to more literary uses, such as this episode’s word: triffid /TRIF-id/ noun. Generally speaking, a triffid is a vigorous, rapidly-developing, usually invasive plant. But in its original use, these plants were also mobile, malignant and carnivorous, with a sting demonstrably capable of killing humans. These were the plants John Wyndham was describing when he coined the term in his 1951 novel The Day of the Triffids. (Incidentally, Wyndham writes that the word evolved from the “etymological gymkhana” around the combination of “tri” (three) and “it…”