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LLAP It’s All Geek To Me


Leonard Nimoy is on twitter and he ends almost ever one of his tweets with LLAP. If you have to ask what that means, then you aren’t really a geek. Otherwise, you’d know that he played Spock on Star Trek and that acronym stands for “Live Long and Prosper.” Somewhere out there is a person who I suspect didn’t know this and asked for an explanation because Mr. Nimoy spelled it out in a recent tweet. I read it and thought, “Duh, why are you telling me…oh dear God, did someone not know that?!” t was like a sacrilege. There are some things you should just know.

This got me thinking about all the things geeks accept as canon that the norms out there just don’t get. If you’re one of the norms, it doesn’t matter and you get by just fine not knowing about tribbles, or midichlorians or the Kessel Run. For those of us in the geek universe, not knowing these things is akin to committing a felony and any admission that you don’t know them will get your Geek Card revoked or, at the very least, get you seriously mocked for the next five to ten years.

Although this might seem like a drawback to carrying that Geek Card in the first place, it’s actually just the reverse. You see, you don’t really have a choice if you’re a geek. You could no more decide to deny your inner geek than you could choose to sprout wings and fly to Vulcan. Okay, there are more than a few problems with that analogy, like surviving in the vacuum of space and making it to warp speed, but that’s fodder for a whole night’s discussion and not the point of my post.

My point is that there are a lot of times when it’s not fun to be a geek. Like when the gates at the subway swish open and you imagine yourself walking onto the bridge of the Enterprise and someone catches you doing your best Picard, or when you make the most perfectly apt Star Wars reference ever only to have someone say, “What do you mean droids?” Or when you refer to Nathan Fillion Captain Tightpants and people look at you funny. But you know when it is great? When you get Leonard Nimoy’s tweets without needing an explanation first. Then, you’re one of the cool kids.  LLAP geeks.

*Edit* Februray 2015

This post was written so long ago, and now the sad day has arrived when Leonard Nimoy has died. He may be gone, but he will always be remembered. This might be a sad day to be a geek, but we are all richer for having had Leonard Nimoy in our lives.



13 Responses to “LLAP It’s All Geek To Me”

  1. I always say that I don't seem like a geek until I open my mouth, and then I practically have to translate every word I say! Definitely understand where you are coming from, but you are right, you can't deny your inner geek, and I can't deny the insanity that occurs when I start talking sci fi. Pity those who know me who aren't geeks.

    Girls Are Geeks

  2. RW says:

    I just love the fact that a) an 80 year old is using Twitter and b) that 80 year old is Leonard Nimoy.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Any true movie and comic geek also knows that the word canon is spelled canon in this context. A cannon is just a big gun.

  4. Oh, we have a Grammar Geek! Thanks for pointing out the mistake. It has been corrected. Although, given how seriously Geeks take their canon, it is just a giant cannon waiting to go off 🙂

  5. Kelsey says:

    I should have known what LLAP means, but I had to Google it to figure it out! I've been wondering for awhile what it meant when I saw Nimoy update…and now I feel rather stupid.
    Thanks for this post! 😛

  6. Mike says:

    I'll admit to not understanding that LLAP == L.L.&P., even knowing full well that Nimoy played Spock. Heck, I've been watching all the Star Trek movies (in order) the last few weeks, so I've seen it a few times. Sometimes even the brightest among us need a little smack with a cluestick every now and then.

    FYI, you're were the first hit on Google when I searched "Leonard Nimoy LLAP". So, good job on that!

  7. Wow, first on Google for a Star Trek reference…that's pretty darn nifty. Glad to smack you with the cluestick anytime. I promise not to leave a mark 🙂

  8. Noah Cross says:

    God, epic fail on teh part of this (alleged) Star Trek geek. Guess that's why I never figure out what's actually going on in mystery movies. Gee, you mean Bruce Willis has been a ghost this whole time? *jaw drops on floor*

  9. deuZige says:

    OMG!! First off: it took me about 5 minutes just now to realize i wasn't typing on the right keyboard before switching to this one…
    second: I sent a message only two days ago asking the man himself, Leonard Nimoy, selling his llap t-shirts, what llap means….. I just sent another one apologizing and feeling ashamed to the very core of my being….
    its a good thing that winning the writing contest at the United Federation of Planets and getting my work published in the Herald compensates for all of the shame and embarressment i'm feeling right now or i'd probably kill myself and get eaten by Spock when his food runs out… (Spock is my dog… )

  10. Daisuki says:

    I have to admit I initially tried to parse it as 'Ladies Love A' but couldn't come up with something Nimoy-related that would cover the P. I feel foolish now… thanks for setting me straight, Google! (And if anyone has any good suggestions for the P I'd be interested to see them 🙂 )

  11. Anonymous says:

    Don't forget 80 yrs is young for a Valcan.

  12. I too am ashamed to admit I didn't immediately recognise LLAP. I even spent a couple years writing a Star Trek Novel in the late eighties loosely based on an AIDS like epidemic with a writing partner. After getting to about 140 pages of detailed outline with occasional passages fleshed pout into prose we gave up on the idea. The fact we lived two hours apart was a serious challenge. Google Docs assure would have helped. LL&P would have been easy to decifer. I feel like I need to attend geek remedial school.

  13. Anonymous says:

    This is nothing to be ashamed about: many real 'geeks' who would immediately recognize the phrase and its origins have no use for applications like Twitter, and thus might not be familiar with the abbreviation. However, it will probably never be more appropriate and meaningful than it was on this occasion:

    Bon voyage, Leonard.

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