'Geekonics' Is Just a Beginning
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From: Peter Langston <psl>
Date: Tue, 14 Jan 97 17:55:21 -0800
Subject: 'Geekonics' Is Just a Beginning
Forwarded-by: "Jack D. Doyle" <email@example.com>
'GEEKONICS' IS JUST A BEGINNING
by John Woestendiek
Wed., January 8, 1997
NEWS BULLETIN: Saying it will improve the education of children who have
grown up immersed in computer lingo, the school board in San Jose, Calif.,
has officially designated computer English, or "Geekonics", as a second
The historic vote on Geekonics - a combination of the word "geek" and the
word "phonics" - came just weeks after the Oakland school board recognized
black English, or Ebonics, as a distinct language.
"This entirely reconfigures our parameters," Milton "Floppy" Macintosh,
chairman of Geekonics Unlimited, said after the school board became the
first in the nation to recognize Geekonics.
"No longer are we preformatted for failure," Macintosh said during a
celebration that saw many Geekonics backers come dangerously close to
smiling. "Today, we are rebooting, implementing a program to process the
data we need to interface with all units of humanity."
Controversial and widely misunderstood, the Geekonics movement was spawned
in California's Silicon Valley, where many children have grown up in
households headed by computer technicians, programmers, engineers and
scientists who have lost ability to speak plain English and have
inadvertently passed on their high-tech vernacular to their children.
HELPING THE TRANSITION
While schools will not teach the language, increased teacher awareness of
Geekonics, proponents say, will help children make the transition to
standard English. Those students, in turn, could possibly help their parents
learn to speak in a manner that would lead listeners to believe that they
have actual blood coursing through their veins.
"Bit by bit, byte by byte, with the proper system development, with
nonpreemptive multitasking, I see no reason why we can't download the data
we need to modulate our oral output," Macintosh said.
The designation of Ebonics and Geekonics as languages reflects a growing
awareness of our nation's lingual diversity, experts say.
Other groups pushing for their own languages and/or vernaculars to be
declared official viewed the Geekonics vote as a step in the right
"This is just, like, OK, you know, the most totally kewl thing, like, ever,"
said Jennifer Notat-Albright, chairwoman of the Committee for the
Advancement of Valleyonics, headquartered in Southern California. "I mean,
like, you know?" she added.
THEY'RE HAPPY IN DIXIE
"Yeee-hah," said Buford "Kudzu" Davis, president of the Dixionics Coalition.
"Y'all gotta know I'm as happy as a tick on a sleeping bloodhound about this."
Spokesmen for several subchapters of Dixionics - including Alabonics,
Tennesonics and Louisionics - also said they approved of the decision.
Bill Flack, public information officer for the Blue Ribbon Task Force on
Bureaucratonics said that his organization would not comment on the San Jose
vote until it convened a summit meeting, studied the impact, assessed the
feasibility, finalized a report and drafted a comprehensive action plan,
which, once it clears the appropriate subcommittees and is voted on, will
be made public to those who submit the proper information-request forms.
Proponents of Ebonics heartily endorsed the designation of Geekonics as an
"I ain't got no problem wif it," said Earl E. Byrd, president of the Ebonics
Institute. "You ever try talkin' wif wunna dem computer dudes? Don't matter
if it be a white computer dude or a black computer dude; it's like you be
talkin' to a robot - RAM, DOS, undelete, MegaHertZ. Ain't nobody
understands. But dey keep talkin' anyway. 'Sup wif dat?"
Those involved in the lingual diversity movement believe that only by
enacting many different English languages, in addition to all the foreign
ones practiced here, can we all end up happily speaking the same boring one,
becoming a nation that is both unified in its diversity, and diversified in
© 1997 Peter Langston