Aside

Learnin’ lingo

I was patting myself on the back last night for having successfully set up an email address incorporating my ktbradshaw.com domain. I crowed to a computer-savvy friend on social media, and he responded:

Yup, you got your mx records right and that’s the weirdest part to grok. Good job!!

Grok??

What kind of techno-speak is that?

1961 Martian-speak, it turns out.

According to an entry in Wikipedia:

Grok /ˈɡrɒk/ is a word coined by Robert A. Heinlein for his 1961 science-fiction novel, Stranger in a Strange Land, where it is defined as follows: Grok means to understand so thoroughly that the observer becomes a part of the observed—to merge, blend, intermarry, lose identity in group experience. It means almost everything that we mean by religion, philosophy, and science—and it means as little to us (because of our Earthling assumptions) as color means to a blind man.

Urban Dictionary says (emphasis mine):

Taken from the book ‘Stranger in a Strange Land,’ literally meaning ‘to drink’ but taken to mean ‘understanding.’ Often used by programmers and other assorted geeks.

Grok is even in my Webster’s New Universal Unabridged Dictionary. (Of course I still use a physical dictionary. Don’t you? Such fun to browse!)

v.t. 1. to communicate thoroughly and intuitively. v.i. 2. to communicate sympathetically.

I can’t honestly say that I grok mx records, but I’m glad to have a new word to roll around on my tongue.

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