The Acme of Geeky

July 28, 2008 | 33 comments
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The Lovely One and I were idly chatting Sunday afternoon when we accidentally figured out what would be the geekiest possible activity, probably the platonic ideal of geekdom.

Reading the Book of Mormon daily in Latin.

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33 Responses to The Acme of Geeky

  1. Adam Greenwood on July 28, 2008 at 4:06 pm

    And you mark your favorite passages using an elaborate color-coded scheme.

    Actually I don’t think the Book of Mormon in latin exists. So for now the geek’s ne plus ultra is translating it into latin.

  2. Bookslinger on July 28, 2008 at 4:14 pm

    I’m aware of two efforts to translate the Book of Mormon to Klingon.

  3. Brad Haas on July 28, 2008 at 4:16 pm
  4. M on July 28, 2008 at 4:22 pm

    I dunno, Brad, I think Klingon is hugely more geeky than Latin.

  5. Adam Greenwood on July 28, 2008 at 4:23 pm

    Klingon. Hmm, maybe I spoke too soon.

  6. Kevin Barney on July 28, 2008 at 4:45 pm

    I have a translation of Winnie the Pooh into Latin; does that count?

    And for a while when I was in college I kept my journal in Latin. It felt like a monkish sort of thing to do at the time. After about ten pages’ worth, I gave up and reverted to English. It was just too hard and I was just too slow at it.

    Seriously, I would love to have a Latin BoM to read. During GD Sunday I noticed that a friend of mine one row up was following along in his Japanese BoM (his mission language). I never learned a language on a mission, but being able to read the BoM in Latin would be fun and would also force me to concentrate much harder on what it is trying to say.

    But even I’m not geeky enough to do the Klingon thing…

  7. William Morris on July 28, 2008 at 4:45 pm

    No, the Acme of Mormon Geeky would be to translate the Book of Mormon into Quenya and then transliterate it into the Deseret Alphabet. And then read it while wearing your Nephi as portrayed by Friberg costume.

  8. Raymond Takashi Swenson on July 28, 2008 at 5:01 pm

    This recalls to mind a Calvin Grondahl cartoon in which a guy with a goatee is standing at the podium and says “I feel I would be ungrateful if I did not bear my testimony in the original Greek”, with a caption that reads “Mormon Intellectual”. (my recall may be slightly erroneous)

    It is actually an interesting exercise to read the Japanese Bible, since it was translated from Luther’s German Bible and has a slightly different take on some passages, that help to illuminate the meaning. (This is also why the Bible characters in Japan have German names, like “Yakobu” instead of James.) For example, the angel who appears to the shepherds says “In the highest heaven be glory to God, and on the earth be peace to men who follow God’s heart.” Peace on earth, in this version, is limited to those who obey God.

  9. Brad Haas on July 28, 2008 at 5:20 pm

    Bookslinger, M, et al.: QAPLA’!

  10. Ardis Parshall on July 28, 2008 at 5:28 pm

    Is there any need to mention “platonic”? Isn’t that just sorta understood?

  11. Adam Greenwood on July 28, 2008 at 5:38 pm

    No, the Acme of Mormon Geeky would be to translate the Book of Mormon into Quenya and then transliterate it into the Deseret Alphabet. And then read it while wearing your Nephi as portrayed by Friberg costume.

    Nah, that’s garden variety stuff. Happens every day.

  12. Hans on July 28, 2008 at 5:39 pm

    I always thought listening to the BoM of my iPod in morse code would be kind of geeky, like God is trying to send me a message.

  13. Sarah on July 28, 2008 at 6:00 pm

    I would submit that discussing whether it’s geekiest to translate the BoM into Elvish, Klingon, or Latin is more or less by necessity geekier than actually doing any of those things.

    And I’ve read the Book of Mormon in Russian while camping on the streets of Hollywood (in front of the wrong theatre) for six weeks while sitting next to a guy with the Black Speech ring inscription tattooed on his upper arm — and that guy was chatting online with a bunch of other people who were also sitting right next to us. So I think I can speak definitively on all questions of relative geekiness.

  14. NoCoolName_Tom on July 28, 2008 at 6:15 pm

    Re 7: I was attempting the Quenya BofM once until I gave up due to my inability to correctly combine and conjugate Quenya words/verbs and only got one or two verses in. On the other hand, I have copies of the “Living Christ” in Quenya proudly displayed at home and in my office cubicle (I worked at the Distribution Center when I was working on writing it so they even included an almost correct item number and copyright, just with a fictitious language code).

  15. Zen on July 28, 2008 at 8:03 pm

    Re: #8 (This is also why the Bible characters in Japan have German names, like “Yakobu” instead of James.)

    That probably has more do to with the fact that the King James translators changed that name to James to honor the King. Peter, James and John, should be Peter, Jacob, and John

    But back on topic, a Quenya translation of the Standard Works is sorely lacking. Can Zion truly come before we have such a thing?

    Zen

  16. Tatiana on July 28, 2008 at 9:33 pm

    I really think Sindarin would be more useful. Most of the Quenyan-speaking elves are already in the undying lands. You don’t really need the gospel when you live with the gods, do you?

  17. Thomas Parkin on July 28, 2008 at 9:37 pm

    It isn’t the real thing until you’ve included ventriloquism and action figures with your obscure languages.

    http://www.shopdraper.com/servlet/the-54/Abinadi%2C-Book-of-Mormon/Detail

    Yikes!

    http://www.shopdraper.com/servlet/the-53/Ammon%2C-Book-of-Mormon/Detail

    A lily white Ammon defends the flocks!

    ~

    ~

  18. Kevin Barney on July 28, 2008 at 10:24 pm

    The name James wasn’t actually used to honor king James. See here:

    http://www.bycommonconsent.com/2007/11/peter-jacob-and-john/

  19. Nitsav on July 28, 2008 at 10:54 pm

    Latin is nerdy. Klingon is geeky. Of course, if the Klingon translation were based on the Latin instead of the English…

  20. Ray on July 28, 2008 at 10:54 pm

    It’s good to know I’m only a pseudo-geek.

  21. TooMuchTime on July 28, 2008 at 11:08 pm

    “I palantir quentë rás, ar sí, apa linequessis antavë, antalvë métimaqueslva, cuilerya! An cennelmes areruformaiti, ar hlarnelme óma quetë néro yoneresseilúvatar. Ne semas, teres, ar seda, ontaro ar ontanero ambari, ar set nosser nar yondor ar yelder tenna Ilúvatar, equë Saitaler ar Vandar 76, 22 an 24.”

    Now, if I could just say the same in Latin, Klingon, Sindarin, and Westron.

  22. Derek on July 29, 2008 at 12:08 am

    “You have not experienced Shakespeare until you have read him in the original Klingon.” –Chancellor Gorkon, STVI

  23. Thomas Parkin on July 29, 2008 at 1:02 am

    Ray,

    The term is “geek-compatable.” :)

    TooMuchTime,

    Oh, my.

    nitsav,

    Strongly agree that Klingon is geeky and Latin is nerdy.

    SETI is nerdy, X-Files is geeky
    chemistry set is nerdy, action figures are geeky
    grammar is nerdy, the dewey decimal system is geeky
    sci-fi book club is nerdy, Ren Faire is geeky
    pocket protector is nerdy, dirty black band t-shirt is geeky
    note that the mullet is no longer nerdy or geeky, but it was once geeky, it was never nerdy
    being too distracted for food is nerdy, being very underweight for a male or overweight for a female is geeky
    nerdy is thinking too much, geeky is feeling too strange

    We could go on. There is naturally some overlap. Dungeons and Dragons is mostly geeky but is defenitely also nerdy.
    Much geek and nerd stuff is actually very cool. The problem with the geek and the nerd is that they overshoot the mark. They shoot just wide or long and head into an alternate dimension (nerd), or begin vibrating on the wrong frequency (geek).

    ~

  24. john f. on July 29, 2008 at 11:52 am

    Nitsav — you’re right on your correction re Latin = nerdy and Klingon = geeky. Latin definitely isn’t geeky. How many Klingon geeks actually know any Latin? Very few, methinks.

  25. john f. on July 29, 2008 at 11:54 am

    Thomas, where does “dork” fit into your dichotomy?

  26. Velska on July 29, 2008 at 12:51 pm

    Whoah! To me it’s quite enough that I spend the time reading these blogs and compound it by commenting!

  27. Peter LLC on July 29, 2008 at 1:05 pm

    Latin definitely isn’t geeky.

    Sure it isn’t. Considering your extensive knowledge of legal terms of art, I believe you should recuse yourself from any decisions concerning the geekiness of Latin to avoid any appearance of bias.

  28. Adam Greenwood on July 29, 2008 at 1:15 pm

    Latin isn’t geeky for lawyers, just for everyone else. Licet jovi non licet bovi.

  29. Kari on July 29, 2008 at 3:34 pm

    I always figured the acme of geekery was reading it in English.

  30. quin on July 30, 2008 at 12:47 am

    Words simply fail me here…and the only thought that comes to mind is undermedicated. :P

  31. Thomas Parkin on July 30, 2008 at 1:08 am

    john f.,

    Any geek or nerd that isn’t … very bright … is a dork.
    The dorks are kind of the plebians; an underclass full of potential nerds and geeks that just can’t quite keep up. This might seem rather sad. But actually they are easier to figure, since the clearly have an excuse.

    All this probably sounds a little mean. I should say that I myself am very compatable with geeks, would love to be more compatable with nerds, and dearly love all dorks.

    ~

  32. meems on July 30, 2008 at 2:00 am

    Thank you, Thomas. This clears it up for me. I aspired to nerdiness, hoped to settle for geekdom, but in the end, I guess I’m just a dork.

  33. Marianne on July 31, 2008 at 12:35 am

    “nerdy is thinking too much, geeky is feeling too strange”

    Can we have t-shirts with this?

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