I'm reading Rainbows End by Vernor Vinge , where the author coined a word withittude. Just like tittytainment, a blend of tit +‎ entertainment, I fancy "withittude" is similar, maybe some with... + attitude? But couldn't figure out a good one. Pls suggest?

The context is:

Orozco --> Blount: < sm > Can you read me? < / sm >

"Of course I can," replied the old man.

So despite Blount's claims of withittude, he couldn't manage silent messaging, not even the finger tapping most grownups used.

Basically this is a sci-fi fiction that people use wearable devices to communicate, such as sending silent message -- those marked by < sm > and < / sm > .

Orozco, a teenager, just had a conversation with Blount, someone in his sixties, who claimed have taken some courses on newly development technologies and will return to career soon.

Then Orozco sent "Can you read me?" to Blount. Other teenagers might reply by using eyeball or muscles, via wearable devices; older people, a.k.a. the "grownups" might use finger typing. But Blount replied "Of course I can" verbally.

So this looks to Orozco that though Blount claimed he's actively pickup new technologies for a career return, he's not so up with the time.

1 Answer 1


You understand the meaning pretty well; but with it is not so much about familiarity with new technology as broader familiarity with new and fashionable cultural practices—in which of course new technology plays a part.

With it (or with-it) is youth slang which arose at the the end of the sixties; it's an adjectival meaning approximately "engaged in current popular culture, and knowledgeable about it". Withittude, then, would be a nominal derivative denoting the quality, or possession of the quality, of being with it.

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