Fog Creek Software
Discussion Board




Now I know where the word geek comes from

geek
    (gheek) n. a carnival performer often billed as a wild man, whose act usually includes biting the head off a live chicken or snake [prob. from English dial. geek, geck "fool," from Low German geck].

http://www.wunderland.com/WTS/Alison/lexophilia/coolwords.html



We all got our nicknames from Ozzy Osbourne.

RP
Tuesday, June 29, 2004

And who here didn't know that already, other than you?

I mean, even if you didn't know it innately, like most geeks, you could have at least picked it up from that one episode of the X-Files.

Fred
Tuesday, June 29, 2004

Which one?

RP
Tuesday, June 29, 2004

The one with a geek in it.

XYZZY
Tuesday, June 29, 2004

Which one? We're so many!

RP
Tuesday, June 29, 2004

Damn!

I would've preferred to get my nickname from Iron Maiden.

Ah, well, Ozzy is great, too.

Paulo Caetano
Tuesday, June 29, 2004

I still prefer the term "nerd".  It is not clear to me if people are now using the term geek in place of nerd, or if there is some difference in the use.

Favorite movie: Revenge of the Nerds

imanerd
Tuesday, June 29, 2004

I *much* prefer geek. It seems to have a connotation of  intellectual competence. Nerd seems only to imply social ineptness.

JMHO

geek
Tuesday, June 29, 2004

http://catb.org/~esr/jargon/html/G/geek.html

http://www.catb.org/~esr/jargon/html/N/nerd.html

So 'geek' has a positive connotation and 'nerd' a negative one, though both their denotations are abnormal.

KayJay
Tuesday, June 29, 2004

I hate both terms.  Frankly, they're used to pigeonhole people, especially "geek."  For whatever reason these labels are taken much more seriously than they should be, especially by the techie bourgeois.

neither
Tuesday, June 29, 2004

Categorisation does not cease to be categorisation even if termed as piegon-hol(e)ing. It remains a valid function.

KayJay
Tuesday, June 29, 2004

I agree with the poster who dislikes the term.

The usage only started about 10 years ago and is clearly an attempt to keep the technically competent in their place.

Of course outsourcing has done a lot more than negative public relations has ever done.

PS: 95% of people in software are NOT geeks but are in fact interesting and highly verbal people, even if we don't wear Armani suits every day.

frustrated
Tuesday, June 29, 2004

I prefer nerd to geek any day. Nerd implies a particular type of socially inept intellectual, where as geek connotes the biting off the head of a chicken carnival geek to me.

What I hate is the gratiutious use of Grok.

MilesArcher
Tuesday, June 29, 2004

How about _performant_? That one's really the proverbial fingernail on the blackboard!

.
Tuesday, June 29, 2004

I have to wonder how many people know what grok means, let alone its source.  Forget about the vanishingly small number who have read the source itself.

Drudy Mialnam
Tuesday, June 29, 2004

Gern Blanston... Master of Time, Space and Dimension

_
Tuesday, June 29, 2004

>> I have to wonder how many people know what grok means, let alone its source.  Forget about the vanishingly small number who have read the source itself. <<

Anyone taking bets on this being the next Heinlein book to be butchered by Hollywood?

Personally, I'd like to see John Milius direct "The Moon is a Harsh Mistress".

chiph
Tuesday, June 29, 2004

> Anyone taking bets on this being the next Heinlein book to be butchered by Hollywood?

I wouldn't: too much "thou art God" for Hollywood. I'd bet on their prefering to butcher something sexier, such as _Friday_ or _I will Fear No Evil_.

Christopher Wells
Tuesday, June 29, 2004


No, I genuinely think that most people who know what "Grok" means have read Stranger in a Strange land.

They might have been 13 at the time, but they read it. :-)

Sheesh.  You make me sad with your jaded-ness.

Matt H.
Tuesday, June 29, 2004

>> I'd bet on their prefering to butcher something sexier, such as _Friday_ or _I will Fear No Evil_.

I don't think either of those, or Stranger are workable for hollywood butchering - yeah Friday and Evil have more sex to work with, but I don't think either story would work: Evil is too slow, too much inner discussion, and Friday also has too much talking.  Of course, that's never stopped them before.

OTOH, a bunch of his "juvenile" books could have the action pumped up a bit and turned into hollywood movies - Tunnel in the Sky, The door into summer, Space Cadet...

Hmmm, some of the Pirx the Pilot stories would make good movies... oh well, not much chance.

Ward
Tuesday, June 29, 2004

Be sure to check out the old Tyrone Power flick "Nightmare Alley."  He's a con man who slides all the way down the ladder to alchoholic, live chicken-eating GEEK!!!

Always gets a laught at the Brattle in Hvd Sq, how everyone shudders at the work geek.

Contrary Mary
Tuesday, June 29, 2004

Orphans of the sky, not tunnell.

Best.

Heinlein.

Juvinelle.

EVER.


....

Matt H.
Tuesday, June 29, 2004

"Categorisation does not cease to be categorisation even if termed as piegon-hol(e)ing. It remains a valid function."

Well, this is another case of 2 terms meaning the same thing with different connotations.  If you pigeon-hole me into a category, it sounds like I don't really fit there, but you feel the need to squeeze me in, anyway.

And that is why I hate categorization, labelling, and pigeon-holing of people: it's usually an excuse to assume you know a lot more about somebody than you do, simply to avoid having to actually learn something about them.

not a pigeon
Tuesday, June 29, 2004

http://tinyurl.com/3gdgv

geek
Tuesday, June 29, 2004

I'm glad you geeks grok this stuff.

Bored Bystander
Tuesday, June 29, 2004

How about a hollywood version of "a door into summer"?

MilesArcher
Tuesday, June 29, 2004

When applied to a person with technical interests, www.dictionary.com finds these definitions:

geek:

A person who is single-minded or accomplished in scientific or technical pursuits but is felt to be socially inept.

nerd:

A person who is single-minded or accomplished in scientific or technical pursuits but is felt to be socially inept.

"Revenge of the Nerds" came out way back in 1984.  I don't think geek was used in the same sense back then.

imanerd
Tuesday, June 29, 2004

"What I hate is the gratiutious use of Grok."

All words that are not onomatopoeias were made up by people at some point or another.  Get over it.

(Even onomatopoeias are language dependent, by the way.)

Aaron F Stanton
Tuesday, June 29, 2004

"95% of people in software are NOT geeks..."

95% of people in software got a boner the first time they saw a Half Life 2 preview, what does that tell ya?


Tuesday, June 29, 2004

I'm not a nerd Bart, nerds are smart.

-Milhouse Van Houten

aaa
Tuesday, June 29, 2004

What makes anyone think that Holywood wouldn't just rewrite "Stranger" to _make_ it more suitable. Have you actually read Starship Troopers? :-D

SteveM
Thursday, July 01, 2004

I have.  It's always bugged me that no one worked out the hero of Starship Troopers was phillipino. 

a cynic writes...
Thursday, July 01, 2004

Are you serious?

RP
Thursday, July 01, 2004

*  Recent Topics

*  Fog Creek Home