Sat, 24 Jan 2004


to grok

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clearly, I have too much time on my hands. or, more tragically, instead of doing things I need to do, I sit her mentally masturbating as usual. (notice the word mental.)

anyway, I was thinking of the word "grok" for some reason. for those who aren't into science fiction and therefore have never read the book Stranger in a Strange Land by Robert Heinlein, well, that's where it comes from. in the story, it's of Martian etymology, meaning literally, "to drink," and figuratively, "to understand deeply." well, of course, the latter connotation inevitably seeped into geekspeak, but the crazy thing is that I think it is beginning to spread into the mainstream. of course, this might just be a reflection on how much more technological our world is (read as: how much more acceptable—nay, perhaps necessary—it is to be a geek—I have to say it: it has become chic to be a geek—OK, well, maybe not....), and, of course, I was in Silicon Valley when I heard a non-computer science person use it, so maybe it was a meaningless occurance. nonetheless, it is in some general dictionaries (post-Y2K, granted.) and, I might add, it is quite a useful word.

I then turned my thoughts to the word "savvy," not in its adjective form, but in its verb form. I'm not sure if it really is standard pirate argot, but Johnny Depp certainly used it a lot in "Pirates of the Caribbean", and even at least once in "Once Upon a Time in Mexico". What I figured out, then forgot, then looked up is that it is derived from the Spanish word "sabe," which means to know.

anyway, back to "grok." there are a few related geekspeak terms (which, by the way, I've never really heard before) such as "glark","glork", and "zen," again, not as an adjective, but as a verb.

well, enough of that for now.

19:32:29 24 Jan 2004 > /language > permalink > 0 comments


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