The Austin (Texas) Public Library has debuted an ad campaign that uses “geek” as a verb.
It may be that Syndrome from The Incredibles was actually one of the first to use “geek” at least as a compound verb:
I still recall when “geek” was a disparaging term; now it’s universally understood as a positive term.
Webster’s dictionary allows for either definition of “geek”:
: a person who is socially awkward and unpopular : a usually intelligent person who does not fit in with other people
Yet from what I’ve seen, most people still use the term geek specifically about someone’s passionate affinity or “fandom” for either computers/science or about fantastical stories.1 I haven’t seen a lot of approval from “true geeks” — the computers/science or fantastical-fiction-fans ones — for those who might say they are “geeks” about gardening, stamp-collection, the United Nations, or 4-H. In this view, the term geek does not so easily equal “hobbyist.”
So as the Austin Public Library proposes, should the term geek also be used as a verb that effectively means “intensely like”?
Should the new verb have a wide range of objects that include pretty much anything people could appreciate?
As in: “I geek jokes” or “I geek healthful eating” or “I geek the United States Monroe Doctrine foreign policy of 1823″?
Could evangelicals put Promise Keepers-style bumper stickers on their cars that say, “I geek my wife”? Could we make up T-shirts that say, “I geek J.C.”?2