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Polarity

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Polarity was something that could be reversed. Miles O'Brien reversed the polarity of energy fields on Deep Space 9 in an effort to trap Odo on the promenade in 2370. (DS9: "The Alternate")

"Reversing the polarity" of something is a classic cliché of science fiction "technobabble". It was used long before it was employed in Star Trek. One early antecedent of whom the Berman-era writing staff were clearly aware was Doctor Who, where "reversing the polarity" has been a catch phrase since the early 1970s.

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