The word ‘grok’ is back in the news, thanks to Elon Musk. As long time Word users and classic science-fiction readers, we naturally wanted to see if Word’s spell check recognized the word. In other words, does Microsoft Word grok the word Grok?
Grok is a word made up by Robert Heinlein for his classic 1961 novel, Stranger in a Strange Land. It’s a Martian language term meaning to deeply understand or embrace a person or idea. Some definitions say that to ‘grok’ means understanding based on feelings more than fact, making it a synonym for Truthiness.
Elon Musk is using Grok as the label for his proposed AI system. (I wonder if lawyers for the Heinlein estate have any thoughts on this appropriation?)
You’ll find ‘Grok’ in most major dictionaries including the Oxford English, Collins, Cambridge and Merriam-Webster. The word has been fairly commonly used in programming (especially Python) and nerd circles for decades.
It’s no surprise that ‘grok’ is in the Microsoft Word online dictionary including appropriate synonyms. The top synonyms is ‘dig’ which is fitting 60’s slang that I haven’t heard for decades <g>.