Anorak News | Dictionary Update Says Geeks Are Cool And Not In the Least Bit Socially Awkward

Dictionary Update Says Geeks Are Cool And Not In the Least Bit Socially Awkward

by | 16th, December 2013


SO the language changes once again. Collins, the dictionary people, has just released its list of words of the year. They always do this just before Christmas in order to remind middle aged men that dictionaries make very good presents from Santa for their children. Just like their own fathers told them 35 years ago.

In the list change this year we’ve a change in the definition of “geek”. From one who is socially awkward, near incompetent, to one who is now at the blazing, leading, edge of contemporary culture.

“Often we find that they achieve better longevity too. Just compare previous generations’ use of words like ‘cloud’, ‘tweet’ and ‘tablet’ to ours.

“‘Geek’ is a great example of a word that has evolved from having a negative meaning to having a positive one.

“Its origins are in the 19th century, but it has most recently changed from describing someone preoccupied with computing to someone who is passionate about any field of expertise.

“This change in meaning represents a positive change in perceptions about specialist expertise, and is a result of the influence of technology on people’s lives in 2013.

Or, as the definition now reads:

Geek: a person who is knowledgeable and enthusiastic about a specific subject.

Excellent, I can now usefully describe myself as a beer geek.

I’ve never quite been able to track down whether this is an urban legend or actually the truth, but it is said that Microsoft once had an advertisement for one of their products with the tagline “Linux, invented so that geeks can get laid”.

I’d like to believe that it is true even if I rather doubt that it is.

Posted: 16th, December 2013 | In: Books, Reviews, Technology Comment | TrackBack | Permalink