Fancy new geoglyphs discovered in Peru


Originally published at:


Good. For a worrying moment I though that yet another arsehole had decided to drive their car over the lines.


Cool! But that word you’re using, it does not mean what you think it means.

verb US informal
past tense: grokked; past participle: grokked

understand (something) intuitively or by empathy.
“because of all the commercials, children grok things immediately”
empathize or communicate sympathetically; establish a rapport.


I really hate the term “Grok” and I wish people would stop using it.


Aw c’mon, it’s from the Heinlein novel. People just use it too much or use it incorrectly.


I call it groken English.


I dig what you’re grokking. But I have another concern, which is: is anyone doing long-term studies on the general trustworthiness of NG under its new ownership?


I really hate the term “Grok” and I wish people would stop using it.

What word would you use in its place? It was introduced from a Martian language in 1960 because there was no good equivalent in English.


Well, they sort of turned themselves in for the decades of rasism in old issues. That’s probably a good sign.


TW: Mention of rape.

Many years ago I randomly picked up Robert A. Heinlein’s Stranger in a Strange Land. I found myself really enjoying it and loved all the wisdom it seemed to convey. Then about halfway through I got to read this gem.

[quote]“9 times out of ten when a woman gets raped it’s her fault”[/quote]. This was the point at which my love affair with the book ended and the only time in my life I’ve literally thrown a hardback across the room. To put it into context this isn’t spoken by some minor character. This is presented as one of the tenets of wisdom that would make the world a better place if only everyone would “Grok” the truth. So fast forward a few years and suddenly I keep seeing the bloody phrase being used everywhere. And I really want to know why? Why would anyone want to quote from such a poison source?


Wait - are you moaning about folks misusing … a made up word?

That seems like a cromulently baroque hill to dye on.


The “flying person tethered to a monkey” is pure awesomeconsommé.


It’s just an old war
Not even a cold war
Don’t say it in Russian
Don’t say it in German
Say it in groken English


I haven’t had time to re-read the book (its been 40 years or so) but I did find this commentary in the guardian.

The quote in that article is slightly different: nine times out of ten, if a girl gets raped it’s partly her fault.

Though I would agree that the intent behind the quote is the same. I should point out that part the novel is framed as a series of ethical debates between the protagonist Jubal Harshaw and a variety of other characters, with the martian Valentine Michael Smith character as sort of a foil or counter example. An example of this is the disgust felt by one of Harshaw’s employees to the martian practice of cannibalism. This is rebutted by Harshaw.

I would have been more concerned if the sentence you quoted had come from Smith or Harshaw because they are put forward as the sources of truth in the book. But coming as it did from Jill, it could be viewed as a sort of foil for the views of those other characters.

Now having said that I could easily imagine these words coming from Dejah Thoris Burroughs in the Number of the Beast, so its fairly certain that Heinlein believed them at some level.


If that’s the only gem you’ve seen in his works then you haven’t been paying attention.
For all of his writing ability, Heinlein was a true blue, through and through, misogynistic, male-chauvinist old pervert.


If you think about it, all words are made up!

"That seems like a cromulently baroque hill to dye on.” -Nice!

Not my hill to die on. I’m a pyramid honey truther.


They lost me at Murdoch. I don’t care if it’s James or not. They’ve been laying off hundreds since the take over. It’s pretty clear (to me) that the Murdoch’s are gutting the institution.


Heinlein’s depiction of sexual liberation in that novel seems pretty progressive at first glance until you realize

  1. He clearly has some serious hangups about homosexuals, and
  2. The book’s depiction of said liberation tends to read like something written by a guy who just wants to get laid more but without any consequences or accountability. (A later passage heavily implies that Valentine’s cult was “technically guilty” of statutory rape, but come on the squares just need to get over that already.)


Lordy, Gents…your banter is immaculate!
Mandingo, how I grok your mouth music!
Who can deny the snazzy of that? Are you denying the snazzy of that?
Lots of people work alone…lonely people, for example.



agreed. for some reason it really sets me off unlike other words.