Grok -- new/old WOTY?

Mark Odegard markodegard at HOTMAIL.COM
Sun Nov 12 06:07:42 UTC 2000

>From: Rudolph C Troike <rtroike at U.ARIZONA.EDU>
>Reply-To: American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
>Subject: Grok -- new/old WOTY?
>Date: Sat, 11 Nov 2000 22:25:37 -0700
>The latest PC Magazine has the following from the editor-in-chief, Michael
>J. Miller:
>         "The latest buzzword among Silicon Valley engineers seems to be
>_grok_. People use is to mean an idea that they really understand and buy
>into, as in 'I really grok that idea.'
>         "Grok first appeared in Robert Heinlein's 1961 science fiction
>masterpiece, _Stranger in a Strange Land_."
>         Rudy

Yes, I've looked. 1961, tho', it was in the late 1960s the the novel
attained pseudo-cult status. _The Moon is a Harsh Mistress_ is the true
Heinlein masterpiece. I'm remembering when I first read these novels.

It's weird, but I was going to Piedmont High School when the Freedom Under
Clark Kerr movement broke out a couple miles north. Gee, our 30K homes then
that are now worth $3-10 million now (and my parents that did not hold on
long enough to cash in). I lived on pink-sidewalked, plane-treed Estrella,
where Bonita and Moraga meet. I am actually of the generation that remembers
Leonard J. Waxdex (or some such spelling) and the original bird calling
contest. I was down in the print shop with Mr. A. setting up the school
paper for the first recursion of it. I even remember when the grand gothic
Scottish Highlands building on Magnolia got torn down because of
earthquake-proof-ness (some years later). I forget who was my 10th grade
Shakespeare teacher was, but we accused her of being Miss Rheingold of 1912
or so.

And San Francisco was merely across the bay via AC Transit.

This is the context I remember the Heinlein classics (I preferred Poul
Anderson). What's his name, the teacher in 9th grade algebra: the place I
first grokked Andre Norton's _Judgment on Janus_.

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