I'm trying to read "Astronauts should not masturbate in zero gravity, NASA scientist says"
Astronauts have been warned against masturbating in space over fears female astronauts could get impregnated by stray fluids. There are strict guidelines over “alone-time” onboard in zero gravity.
Scientists have warned even the slightest rouge droplet could cause chaos on board.
Rouge droplet? In space, is semen red? No, it's just the kind of typo spell-checkers don't catch, the funniest ones, the ones that are other words, like "rouge" for "rogue."
Conan O’Brien was interviewing a NASA engineer, who said, “Three female astronauts can be impregnated by the same man on the same session … it finds its way.”
"Rogue" is an interesting word. As used above, it means — according to the OED
— "Without control or discipline; behaving abnormally or dangerously; erratic, unpredictable" or "Aberrant, anomalous; misplaced, occurring (esp. in isolation) at an unexpected place or time."
The oldest meaning of "rogue," now archaic, is " An idle vagrant, a vagabond; one of a group or class of such people." It also means "A dishonest, unprincipled person; a rascal, a scoundrel." Perhaps if you were making a cartoon character out of a sperm cell, you'd pick those characteristics.
A nicer sort of "rogue" is "A mischievous person, esp. a child; a person whose behaviour one disapproves of but who is nonetheless likeable or attractive. Frequently as a playful term of reproof or reproach or as a term of endearment." That can be the other cartoon sperm cell's sidekick.
In horticulture, a "rogue" is "A plant or seedling in a crop that is considered inferior, or exhibits variation from the parental or standard type." And "rogue" is also used for a "wayward, unmanageable, or lazy horse" and to designate "a large wild animal living apart from the herd and having savage or destructive tendencies." More ideas for my (undrawn) comic strip about sperm cells.
ADDED: Checking my archive, I see I've looked into the meaning of "rogue" at least twice before.
In 2009, I wrote about Sarah Palin's book "Going Rogue"
and said "Why 'rogue' and not 'maverick'? 'Maverick,' of course, was John McCain's word, which Palin adopted and used in her speeches as she ran alongside him.... Both words are applied to animals, and here the difference is good for Palin. The maverick animal is unbranded or motherless — unowned. This is a fate that falls upon the poor creature. The 'rogue' is specifically a horse that resists being controlled by others. It is exhibiting its own will, and not the victim of happenstance. Now, fate touched Palin when McCain choose her, and she did get into trouble when she exhibited will, and the maverick's people called her 'rogue'...."
What makes a nation a "rogue"? A "rogue" was, originally, "An idle vagrant, a vagabond; one of a group or class of such people." (I'm using the unlinkable OED....) These days, a "rogue" is "A dishonest, unprincipled person; a rascal, a scoundrel." Or "A mischievous person, esp. a child; a person whose behaviour one disapproves of but who is nonetheless likeable or attractive. Frequently as a playful term of reproof or reproach or as a term of endearment." Playful. Endearment. Oh, North Korea, you rogue!