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02 April 2012 @ 07:13 pm
Word of the day - grok  
grok  \GRAHK\  verb
: to understand profoundly and intuitively

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.
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Albredaalbreda on April 3rd, 2012 12:14 pm (UTC)
This is one of the very few geekdom words that insist on using in regular conversation as needed because it is such a necessary word in the English language! Strangely, folks rarely ask me what it means - I guess it is either clear from context, or I hang out with well-read geeks. :)
nearlyvalkyrienearlyvalkyrie on April 3rd, 2012 02:09 pm (UTC)
What a wonderful, useful word!

I remember using it in high school and college, and I have a button somewhere from the '80s that says "I Grok Spock" :-D

I'm delighted to see it's listed in the Merriam-Webster online dictionary, and a trifle disappointed they didn't list the origin as Martian. Yes, it's properly attributed "coined by Robert A. Heinlein" but I'd be so geekily pleased to see a Martian language reference.
world_rim_walkeworld_rim_walke on April 3rd, 2012 03:05 pm (UTC)
Yes, but it also means "to drink".
Hrothny: penguin typingstitchwhich on April 4th, 2012 12:07 am (UTC)
...and "to be, to encompass, to learn..." and a bunch more.

And now I have this silly desire to go back and re-read the book. It's been a long while. (Stranger in a Strange Land was the first Science Fiction book I'd ever read. My husband introduced me to the genre with that book.)

Edited at 2012-04-04 12:07 am (UTC)