By John Woestendiek                                                 
   Philadelphia Inquirer                                               
   Wed., January 8, 1997                                               
   NEWS BULLETIN: Saying it will improve the education of children who 
   have grown up immersed in computer lingo, the school board in San   
   Jose, Calif., has officially designated computer English, or        
   "Geekonics", as a second language.                                  
   The historic vote on Geekonics -- a combination of the word "geek"  
   and the word "phonics" -- came just weeks after the Oakland school  
   board recognized black English, or Ebonics, as a distinct language. 
   "This entirely reconfigures our parameters," Milton "Floppy"        
   Macintosh, chairman of Geekonics Unlimited, said after the school   
   board became the first in the nation to recognize Geekonics.        
   "No longer are we preformatted for failure," Macintosh said during a
   celebration that saw many Geekonics backers come dangerously close  
   to smiling. "Today, we are rebooting, implementing a program to       
   process the data we need to interface with all units of humanity."    
   Controversial and widely misunderstood, the Geekonics movement was    
   spawned in California's Silicon Valley, where many children have      
   grown up in households headed by computer technicians, programmers,   
   engineers and scientists who have lost ability to speak plain         
   English and have inadvertently passed on their high-tech vernacular   
   to their children.                                                    
   HELPING THE TRANSITION                                                
   While schools will not teach the language, increased teacher          
   awareness of Geekonics, proponents say, will help children make the   
   transition to standard English. Those students, in turn, could        
   possibly help their parents learn to speak in a manner that would     
   lead listeners to believe that they have actual blood coursing        
   through their veins.                                                  
   "Bit by bit, byte by byte, with the proper system development, with
   nonpreemptive multitasking, I see no reason why we can't download   
   the data we need to modulate our oral output," Macintosh said.      
   The designation of Ebonics and Geekonics as languages reflects a    
   growing awareness of our nation's lingual diversity, experts say.   
   Other groups pushing for their own languages and/or vernaculars to  
   be declared official viewed the Geekonics vote as a step in the     
   right direction.                                                    
   "This is just, like, OK, you know, the most totally kewl thing,     
   like, ever," said Jennifer Notat-Albright, chairwoman of the        
   Committee for the Advancement of Valleyonics, headquartered in      
   Southern California. "I mean, like, you know?" she added.           
   THEY'RE HAPPY IN DIXIE                                              
   "Yeee-hah," said Buford "Kudzu" Davis, president of the Dixionics   
   Coalition. "Y'all gotta know I'm as happy as a tick on a sleeping   
   bloodhound about this. We could be fartin' thru silk perty soon."   
   Spokesmen for several subchapters of Dixionics -- including            
   Alabonics, Tennesonics and Louisionics -- also said they approved of   
   the decision.                                                          
   Bill Flack, public information officer for the Blue Ribbon Task     
   Force on Bureaucratonics said that his organization would not          
   comment on the San Jose vote until it convened a summit meeting,       
   studied the impact, assessed the feasibility, finalized a report and   
   drafted a comprehensive action plan, which, once it clears the         
   appropriate subcommittees and is voted on, will be made public to      
   those who submit the proper information-request forms.                 
   Proponents of Ebonics heartily endorsed the designation of Geekonics   
   as an official language.                                               
   "I ain't got no problem wif it," said Earl E. Byrd, president of the   
   Ebonics Institute. "You ever try talkin' wif wunna dem computer        
   dudes? Don't matter if it be a white computer dude or a black          
   computer dude; it's like you be talkin' to a robot -- RAM, DOS,        
   undelete, MegaHertZ. Ain't nobody understands. But dey keep talkin'   
   anyway. 'Sup wif dat?"                                                
   Those involved in the lingual diversity movement believe that only    
   by enacting many different English languages, in addition to all the  
   foreign ones practiced here, can we all end up happily speaking the   
   same boring one, becoming a nation that is both unified in its        
   diversity, and diversified in its unity.                              
   Others say that makes no sense at all. In any language.