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Except that, by your example, when (and if?) somebody said 'Imperial Romulan Warbird *name here*', using it as the prefix I.R.W. would be same as saying the Federation Starship Enterprise is prefixed as the F.S. Enterprise. Its a phrase that describes the vessel, not its official designation.
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Registered: Sep 2001
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quote:Originally posted by targetemployee: The unnamed Romulan bird-of-prey in "Balance of Terror" is identified as a Praetor's Warbird.
I'm sure someone will correct me if I'm wrong, but as I recall the only really specific reference to the ship is when Decius says something like, "The Praetor's finest and proudest flagship, beaten!" And I'm pretty sure the only bird reference is made by Stiles, who merely observes that Romulan ships are painted like a giant bird of prey, or words to that effect.
-------------------- "Well, I mean, it's generally understood that, of all of the people in the world, Mike Nelson is the best." -- ULTRA MAGNUS, steadfast in curmudgeon
I'd tend to side with mrneutron here, although I rise every morning to curse the day I saw "Balance of Terror" and didn't have the presence of mind to tape it (never mind I had Betamax back then), so I can't rely on my memory.
As for the PRW thing, this TLA does not sound any more "plausible" than the IRW one, judging from the "USS isn't FS" argument standpoint.
However, it's rather possible that the Romulan fleet comes partitioned into several sub-fleets of different standing. "Imperial" ships might stand one notch below "Praetorial" ones, and the ships listed on the DS9 display would represent the elite forces of the Star Empire. The previous week, the display might have included lesser ships with IRW designations...
One thing of interest here is that the Starfleet ships with the highest KIA and lowest WIA percentage have been omitted here. We might even go as far as speculate that those ships were actually lost back in "The Pale Moonlight", not just hit so that some casualties were suffered. Of course, even the longest lists of KIAs only had a few dozen names, pretty low for an entire starship crew. But still, this might mean the ships suffered truly crippling hits and went out of commission.
The poor Wyoming and Nobel continue to have bad luck, it seems. It's a good thing we can't read the actual names following the KIA, WIA and MIA symbols, or we might run into continuity problems...