Parlez vous geek

Do you speak geek?


Sometime or another we've all come across a hardcore gamer(1) or a lolcat(2) fan. Not sure what that's all about? Allow us to elucidate.


Forget about spotty bespectacled loners spooning pot noodles in front of their PCs! As David Peyron so rightly puts it, today's archetypal geek is "a fan of new technologies and imaginary worlds (science fiction, fantasy, immersive storytelling)", who expresses their passion through activities such as "role play, movies, TV series, video games and computer programming". Since the 2000s the word has lost its pejorative connotations and now designates not just individuals but a collective identity encompassing a swathe of cultural components that combine new technologies with a love of fantasy, a convergence that has developed into a genuine subculture symptomatic of our modern world. This community now has its own fanzines, blogs, TV channel and even social media. Peyron, the author of Culture geek*, believes: "Our modern societies' individualism doesn't necessarily isolate people, it can bring them together around shared passions" and so create connections. Which changes the whole picture. So far from a mere vogue or trend, this is "the visible aspect of the global evolution of contemporary popular culture". Geeks of all nations, unite!


A somewhat twee word designating online storage space for text, photo, music etc. files that you can access from any web-connected computer.


Nothing to do with American biscuits! These are trackers that identify you each time you log on to a website and record your browsing activity. Among other things they make it possible to show you specifically targeted ads while you browse.


More likely to make you think of Disney cartoons than social media but in fact "groufie" is the extension of the ubiquitous selfie: a photo you take of yourself with other people, wherever you go and whatever you happen to do.


Cousin to geek, nerd also first appeared in the US in the 50s but has retained the pejorative clichéd image of bespectacled science and technology obsessive.


Phablet is a portmanteau of the words "phone" and "tablet"! This class of mobile device has a screen measuring 5.5-6+in and functions as both a smartphone and tablet.


A person who sows discord on the internet by posting messages in online communities (forum, chatroom, blog etc.) with the intention of starting arguments and upsetting or provoking other users.


Par Lise Irlandes-Guilbault