Wimax, dongle and mashup. They might be unintelligible to technophobes, but they are just some examples of the colourful vocabulary of Europe’s fastest-growing language: Nerdic.
Some call it “geek speak”, others use the term “nerdic”. Indeed, Pixmania, one of Europe’s largest electronic internet retailers, said on Friday that nerdic is Europe’s “fastest growing dialect”. It claims 100s of new words were added to the nerdic vocabulary in the past 12 months—more than three times the number the Oxford English Dictionary added to the English language. Researchers reckon it might be the next Esperanto.
Remember Esperanto? The language designed to be a second “international” language for everyone never really took off.
So what is it? It’s a catchy name for all that techno jargon that has bubbled up with the internet and which although once the preserve of internet boffins in their bedrooms, has now trickled down to ordinary tech-loving folk.
It’s not a new notion that the geeky image of the internet and gadgetry is being eroded. Our consumer driven society has been fast to adopt the slogan “geek chic” and lust after every new iPod and camera phone available in the stores. And, as the technology is pretty new, a bunch of new terminology has sprung up to fill a vacuum in our languages.
Michael Brook, editor of T3 magazine, said: “The technology industry creates new words just as quickly as it comes up with new gadgets.” But he said it was unlikely the nerdic dictionary was growing rapidly because many words to describe older technology had disappeared.
Stuart Miles, editor of gadget website Pocket-Lint.co.uk, said: “Technology has revolutionised the way we speak. With so many words and phrases being created all the time it’s created a whole new way of communicating.” Ulric Jerome, managing director of Pixmania.com, said: “It’s exciting to see Nerdic bringing Europe together and by recognising Nerdic as an official language the UK will continue to help unite technology fans across Europe.”
And some of the quirky terms in the Nerdictionary are—Alpha Geek: the most knowledgeable, technically proficient person in an office or work group; Bandwidth: your ability to handle an excessive number of jobs at the same time. Cobweb: a website that hasn’t been updated in a long, long time; Cube Farm: an office packed with cubicles full of busy workers; Doorstop: a computer no longer considered fast enough and only useful for keeping doors open.
Many Europeans reckon Nerdic has “the three core elements required to define a new language: words, phrases and pronunciation” and have applied to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office to recognize it as an official language.
Via The Times