Welcome to the first lessons on Geek Anthropology of 2016! But before we start, think! Do you speak Geek? I know it’s a weird question to make but to speak the focal vocabulary, the specific vocabulary makes all the difference when we’re talking about the different Worlds of Geeks, Nerds, and fandoms. Fandoms and geek worlds have their own language: a set of particular words and expressions that will show up clearly who is a fan or not. Some common words or combinations of them might be used in a different way and have different meanings for fans. Using them in a correct way makes you a member of the fandom. Knowing the language of the fandom means having a certain identity, and using it is also a device to find others that share your same interests or who are exhibiting knowledge and thus social currency.
Let’s go little by little. Have you noticed how much of your vocabulary is related to the fandoms you love? How many words are related to social media like Tumblr? Or how much of it you use with some friends and not your parents, for example?
We shift our vocabulary and our identities depending on who we have in front of us. We do not present us in the same light to friends, parents or teachers. We also do that online and offline. Thus, we do have several identities. Language reflects that by the different use of vocabulary and grammar choices. So, speaking Geek means showing off our Geek identity to others.
Each geek identity we might have that can be related or not with a certain fandom, has a specific focal vocabulary that might have some words shared with other fandoms or not. In Anthropology, focal vocabulary refers to a specialized set of words that are relevant to a certain group. These words are important because they might show up their shared identity or their knowledge on the specific subject, thus, they can also create social currency.
Let’s take a look at the meme above. Do you think your mother would understand it? And your grandmother? Your friend? What about people in the OUAT group in Facebook? If you stop for a little while and start thinking about the focal vocabulary you use, with whom you use it, and how and when you use it you might be able to discover how much geek you’re speaking, and how many different identities you might have.
So, do you speak geek? And if so, what geek language are you speaking the most? Which fandoms do you belong to that have specific focal vocabulary others do not have? How much social currency do you own and can show off within your Geekdom? Do you sink with your ship? Do you regret nothing? Do you believe you were made to be ruled?
Copyright: Images on this post (C) depepi.com / Memes (C) by their owners.