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You Read It Here First: 2016’s Word of the Year Will Be…

January 1, 2016

My wife taught the word to me. And then I saw it in a super-nerdy, super-awesome Bible software forum I frequent. The word is…

Grok

That’s right. Grok. It will be 2016’s Word of the Year, I predict… or if the world isn’t ready, 2017, for sure.

 

NO.

NO. Grok, not Gronk.

 

Here’s how I saw it in the Accordance forums:

Working with the Help system and especially the Training components, I was able to make sense of the approach Accordance takes.  In my two previous rounds with the Demo in 2014 and early 2015, I just did not grok the system. Bottom line: Time with the Demo and the training tools and the December discounts enabled me to build a package that nicely does what I have always wanted Bible software to do….

(I commended this user for such a fluid use of the word.)

Oxford defines it thus:

Understand (something) intuitively or by empathy: because of all the commercials, children grok things immediately

My 15 seconds of Google research for this blog post (just kidding, it was three minutes) tells me that the word comes from an early 1960s sci-fi novel by Robert A. Heinlein, called Stranger in a Strange Land.

It’s a Martian word in that book. But if an emoji can win Word of the Year, why not a non-human word? Feel free to comment below if you grok what I’m talking about.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. David Bradley permalink
    January 1, 2016 9:15 am

    A key element of the word’s meaning is ‘to know’–in the King Jimmy Biblical sense, that is. Thus it’s either perfectly appropriate or highly inappropriate for use in a Bible study forum. It’s likely the sexual intimacy aspect of the word’s meaning is unknown to those who bandy it about now. But if you strip the word of that shade of meaning, why even use it?

    ‘Grok’ was very popular among the nerdy hippie set after that book was published. But the book has not aged as well as others in its time and genre so I wonder why it is making a resurgence. It seems to have a techy, man-machine connection flavor now.

    • January 1, 2016 9:52 am

      Oh, dear! That eluded me completely. I hadn’t seen any such uses–is that from the original book?

      I think you’re right about it being used in tech-oriented scenarios.

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