Re: The language organ and the ety of <grok> (Re: Serif vs. sansserif)
|From:||John Cowan <cowan@...>|
|Date:||Wednesday, October 27, 1999, 17:42|
Paul Bennett wrote:
> Fabian also used the term <grok>, while we were in London, and I think I
> understand it. What's the etymology of it?
It is a word (indeed, the sole recorded word) from a conlang: Martian,
from Heinlein's classic science fiction novel _Stranger in a Strange
Land_. Its core meaning is *drink*, but as used in the book (borrowed into
English as a regular verb) it means *comprehend absolutely, as if by
merger between subject and object*.
The Jargon File (http://www.tuxedo.org/~esr/jargon/html/entry/grok.html),
the lexicon of hackerdom, says:
1. To understand, usually in a global sense. Connotes
intimate and exhaustive knowledge. Contrast *zen*, which
is similar supernal understanding experienced as a single
brief flash. See also *glark*.
2. Used of programs, may connote merely sufficient
understanding. "Almost all C compilers grok the void type these days."
The emphatic form is `grok in fullness'.
John Cowan http://www.reutershealth.com firstname.lastname@example.org
Schlingt dreifach einen Kreis vom dies / Schliess eurer Aug vor heiliger Schau
Den er genoss vom Honig-Tau / Und trank die Milch vom Paradies.
-- Coleridge (tr. Politzer)