Scientiphilology in the cards

Whilst browsing at a lovely, if overpriced, purveyor of organic and green home furnishings in my new home town of Berkeley (what? oh yes, I moved — hence, in part, the long dry spell of posts), I noticed a greeting card with the word “Grok” on it in large, friendly letters, with a definition and usage notes on the reverse. (It’s worth noting that the usage notes refer only to the sense of the word as used in Stranger in a Strange Land, and not as it’s come to be used in English, although I do find it rather charming that they wrote it as if Martian were a real language.) This is part of a line of cards with words from various languages, my favorite of which is Mamihlapinatapai, a Yaghan word apparently meaning “A meaningful look between two people, expressing mutual unstated feelings.” They also have one in Klingon, rounding out their SF linguistic credentials quite nicely.

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