Friday, February 16, 2007

God, I hate the word "Grok".

Hate it. Hate it hate it hate it. I fucking loathe it. Seriously.

My only regret is that I can't say that I've *always* hated it. Because I haven't. Originally, it was just a sort of passing annoyance. It has since evolved into hate.

What brings this up? The fact that GROK appeared in my inbox recently as the Oxford Dictionary word of the day.

For those who don't know the word, here's what Oxford had to say:
grok \GROCK\ verb

: to understand profoundly and intuitively

Example sentence:
No matter how many times I try to explain it, my grandmother just can't grok what a blog is and why anyone would want to read one.

Did you know?
"Grok" may be the only English word that derives from Martian. Yes, we do mean the language of the planet Mars. No, we're not getting spacey; we've just ventured into the realm of science fiction. "Grok" was introduced in Robert A. Heinlein's 1961 science fiction novel Stranger in a Strange Land. The book's main character, Valentine Michael Smith, is a Martian-raised human who comes to earth as an adult, bringing with him words from his native tongue and a unique perspective on the strange, strange ways of earthlings. "Grok" was quickly adopted by the youth culture of America and has since peppered the vernacular of those who grok it, from the hippies of the '60s to the computerniks of the '90s.

I should also admit, I suppose, that I never finished reading "Stranger in a Strange Land." It had been highly recommended by a friend who had lent me the book, but I just couldn't get through it. It was just so...dreadful. But my dislike for the book didn't have much bearing on my dislike for the word. Although, admittedly, I thought the whole "Look! Martian words!" thing was pretty lame.

So why the hatred for the word? Because it's a stupid fucking made-up word in martianese AND PEOPLE STILL USE IT.



Worse yet, it's generally used by annoying hipster-geek types who want to show their hipster-geek cred by using made up martian words. These are the some sort of hipster-geeks who probably have iPods, so I'm already hating them for that as well. If you use the word "GROK" you've probably got two strikes against you, so don't even talk to me.

On the bright side?

Well, I guess, at least they're not speaking Klingon. There's that.


Everin Shawkinaw said...

Ha! Found your site because I googled "Why Do I Hate People Who Use the Word "grok"?" (At least YOU said you hate the WORD...much kinder in spirit!) I'm deeply relieved that I'm not the only one...seeing or hearing that word makes my inner being wince in the worst way. It is used frequently by those seekers in the nonduality circles. I also read a couple of your other articles, and greatly enjoyed. Yours is the first blog I have subscribed to JUST because I like it (have subscribed to a couple of writers' blogs for tips & freebies, and I DO like them, but...Anyway, thanks for not leaving me hanging out here alone in my own little "grok"-hating universe.

chnacat said...

OMG SO MUCH ME TOO! i realize that this blog post is probably relatively old, and i came to it by googling "people who use the word GROK".... because someone in my FB feed used it and i wanted to reach through the screen an punch their fucking self important face.

so thanks for writing this, now i know i'm not alone.