The little human from Traff’s Γ7 was trying to sell me a new spaceship, and doing a lousy job of it.

“I need a decent observation deck,” I said, looking over the ugly beige ship he was trying to sell me at the moment.  “Does this even have one?”

“Oh sure, sure,” he said, and I suspected maybe his translator was missing something. He took me through long empty hallways, and into a tiny space about the size of a wiring closet and pointed to a small screen.

It only took half a second of awareness to see that the screen was not, in fact, a viewport, and given the way he failed to pretend to sustain the illusion, proudly turning the screen on to show a moderate-resolution view of wherever the spaceship’s mounted camera was, I knew I had not been understood.

I brought up a picture and tried to show him what I meant.  He responded by tapping a few buttons on the pad below the monitor, which immediately changed to display the exact same picture I showed him.

“See?” the little human said, beaming.  “Observes anything!”