This is cool, and a huge bit of validation for those of us who self-identify as geeks. The Collins Online Dictionary has recognized that the meaning of geek has changed over time, and felt that it had a more profound impact this year than other “celebrity” words, like twerk.
“The evolving meanings of words are as interesting as brand new words to Collins. Often we find that they achieve better longevity too. Just compare previous generations’ use of words like ‘cloud’, ‘tweet’ and ‘tablet’ to ours,” says Ian Brookes, Consultant Editor to Collins Dictionary. “‘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 pre-occupied with computing to someone who is passionate about any field of expertise.
I’ve been saying this for a while; that being a geek about something means being a bit obsessive, sometimes to the point of negative social impact. But overall, it’s about being passionate. And people can be passionate about so many things, beyond just computers and technology. Being a geek should be an inclusive experience, and one we can recognize across subjects.
So, what kind of geek are you?