Geeks and LEGO-- no S, got it.

Posted by: Catherine Holahan on March 11, 2008

What is it with Geeks and LEGO? (I’ve recently been informed LEGO is never plural)

I once thought the relationship between computer programmers and plastic building blocks was something Douglas Coupland invented for comedic relief in his book Microserfs. Not so.

There’s a playpen area here at the SxSW digital conference where bored programmers and Web designers hang out in between panels and luncheons. It’s filled with LEGO. Blue ones, green ones, red ones, orange ones. LEGO curved to form circles. Lego with faces on them. Landscaping LEGO.

LEGO towers, bridges and even mock roller coasters cover the conference tables in this area. The windows are lined with LEGO cities.

As I write this, grown men are sitting cross-legged on the floor, with no child in sight, building their contribution to the conferences’ very own LEGO universe. I’m off to another panel now, but I thought it worth a mention.

Reader Comments

Dex

March 11, 2008 5:12 PM

It's LEGO. There is no "s". They are very adamant about that.

-geek

Nathan

March 12, 2008 2:59 AM

Programmers are very creative people and Lego inspires creativity, that is why they can be a pass-time. Almost anything can be made from Lego, so why not let creative people has access to them and discover what happens when that much creativity collaborates?

Tom

March 13, 2008 9:23 AM

It's Lego, but it's singular. You don't have "blue ones" or "Lego with faces on them". You have blue Lego. Or blue Lego bricks, if you prefer.

TheQ

March 18, 2008 3:08 AM

Actually, Tom, the most correct form is LEGO. But the latter example you gave is correct. So, "blue lego" is in correct form "blue LEGO brick". (The reason why that is most correct can be found from TLC's Fair Play document: http://www.lego.com/eng/info/fairplay.asp)

But why the plastic bricks are so popular among creative people? I suppose it is mostly about the fact it gives person chance to make things his/her way. The result can be seen immediately, same thing with programming and Web designing.

There is also the geek-factor ;)

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Bloomberg Businessweek writers Peter Burrows, Cliff Edwards, Olga Kharif, Aaron Ricadela, and Douglas MacMillan, dig behind the headlines to analyze what’s really happening throughout the world of technology. Tech Beat covers everything from tech bellwethers like Apple, Google, and Intel and emerging new leaders such as Facebook to new technologies, trends, and controversies.

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