So, hands up who thinks I am a nerd?
Growing up in the 80’s, my image of a nerd is taken from Revenge of the Nerds (Parts 1 and 2), Meatballs, Weird Science, and various other American teenage high school movies.
But then there are the other terms to consider. Geek? Dork?
Dictionary.com defines these words as such:
1. a) A person regarded as foolish, inept, or clumsy.
b) A person who is single-minded or accomplished in scientific or technical pursuits but is felt to be socially inept.
2. A carnival performer whose show consists of bizarre acts, such as biting the head off a live chicken.
1. Slang. A stupid, inept, or foolish person: “the stupid antics of America’s favorite teen-age cartoon dorks” (Joshua Mooney).
2. Vulgar Slang. The penis.
1. A foolish, inept, or unattractive person.
2. A person who is single-minded or accomplished in scientific or technical pursuits but is felt to be socially inept.
Now, these all seem fairly similar to me. Dictionary.com is pigeon-holing nerds, geeks and dorks into the ‘foolish’ category. Typical of those pompous uptight dickheads. It even goes so far as to suggest that a nerd is an unattractive person.
Are they trying to say that Rick Moranis was unattractive??
We can now progress a little further and analyse what the wikipedia descriptions for the same words are.
Bear in mind that these descriptions are probably written by a G/D/N (Geek/Dork/Nerd) themselves.
A geek is a person who is fascinated, perhaps obsessively, by technology and imagination. Geek may not always have the same meaning as the term nerd (see nerd for a discussion of the disputed relation between the terms).
Traditionally, the designation nerd (occasionally in the form nurd) applies to a very intelligent but lonely and socially awkward person, one fascinated by knowledge, especially science. Beginning in the late 1990s, many nerds on the Internet reclaimed the word nerd as a badge of pride, and began using it as a positive description of any technically competent person, with less implication or focus on social awkwardness. Dispute continues as to whether to regard nerd and geek as synonyms, or if not, as to exactly how they differ.
Can we see a difference in these definitions?
From ‘unattractive’ to ‘Badge of Pride’.
I don’t think we can really get a clear picture of what defines someone as a G/D/N but it may come down to the person themselves. It they are happy to admit that they are, then they probably are. If they refuse to admit it but everyone thinks that they are, then they probably are also.
I think I fall into the second category. No, I’m not a Trekkie, or a X-Phile, or a Star Wars Fanatic, or a Dungeons & Dragons dork, but I am a bit of a techno geek, a computer nerd, and I have a blog.
Shit…maybe that’s it.
Blog = Nerd.
Or maybe the fact that I just wrote a whole post analysing Geeks, Dorks and Nerds makes me the biggest G/D/N of all.