0747: "Geeks and Nerds"

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shiningwhitemike
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Re: "Geeks and Nerds" Discussion

Postby shiningwhitemike » Mon May 31, 2010 6:23 pm UTC

According to your mouse over definition Nerds, Nerds should have been a proper subset of Geeks and not an intersecting set.

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StClair
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Re: "Geeks and Nerds" Discussion

Postby StClair » Mon May 31, 2010 6:26 pm UTC

skine wrote:A geek is one who bites heads off of chickens.

A nerd is one who knows this definition.

Well said.

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SirMustapha
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Re: "Geeks and Nerds" Discussion

Postby SirMustapha » Mon May 31, 2010 6:33 pm UTC

StNicolai wrote:You forgot about the poor people who don't enter a matching closing bracket right after an opening bracket, before they type the text in between...


Eww! I hate that. It breaks the flow of writing. And I assume we, here, as humans, are able to fill in small gaps and flaws like those, since language is not rigorous and formal like mathematical diagrams, yet all of us (most of us, at least, can use it pretty well.

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Re: "Geeks and Nerds" Discussion

Postby ZeroSkulleton » Mon May 31, 2010 6:41 pm UTC

Here is how I define them:

Geek: Someone who is really into an intellectual topic (Computer Geek, Math Geek, Biology Geek, etc)

Nerd: A Geek, but also with the connotation of "Loser" or "Dork". Generally not even friends with other geeks of the same subject. Does not get any exercise yet is not fat.

RowanE
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Re: "Geeks and Nerds" Discussion

Postby RowanE » Mon May 31, 2010 6:47 pm UTC

I'd always thought they both meant poor social skills - since they are somewhat derogatory, after all - but nerds had poor social skills and high intelligence, or high skill in mathematical or scientific stuff. A geek is someone with poor social skills and obsession in something.

In other words, I identify as a nerd, and so geeks are the bad ones. I don't like the sound of it, and i don't think i could associate with the term for guys who bite heads of chickens.

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Re: "Geeks and Nerds" Discussion

Postby Invertin » Mon May 31, 2010 6:53 pm UTC

For me, Geek and Nerd are the same, someone who is interested in something that most people would consider "sad".

Dork is the bad word. Dork is when you are obsessed with something that is very sad.

Like someone who looks forward to homework with utter glee.

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Re: "Geeks and Nerds" Discussion

Postby Aiwendil42 » Mon May 31, 2010 7:11 pm UTC

I personally go by the "Geek Nerd Dork quiz" guidelines. Geek = obsessive. Nerd = intelligent. Dork = awkward. This most efficiently covers all the manifestations of social outstandiness. The GND quiz can then assign people percentages for each one.


Apparently, I'm the dorkiest person who's ever taken that quiz:
You scored 74% on dork points, higher than 100% of your peers.

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Re: "Geeks and Nerds" Discussion

Postby Dylnuge » Mon May 31, 2010 7:43 pm UTC

IMHO, this comic was pretty meh.

I get what Randall is trying to say here (that people who attempt to define geeks and nerds fall into both categories), but you can't categorize people without defining the categories anyway (in other words, by stating that there is no agreement on what a geek or nerd is, Randall is basically taking away any meaning from his diagram).

Oh, and the inverse isn't really true. I consider myself to be both a geek and a nerd, but I don't really care about the definitions and honestly think they are kind of the same (hence why I consider myself to fall into both categories—with no differences between the two IMHO, there isn't any way to consider myself one but not the other). Sure, Randall is probably not trying to say that people who are both geeks and nerds try to define the differences, but by using titling the Venn diagram category he's saying it, whether or not he means it.

It didn't make me laugh, I don't really think it was insightful, and it reminds me of the joke "Trekkers are people who like Star Trek, and Trekkies are people who insist on being called Trekkers." It's not bad, per se, I just didn't find it so great.

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Re: "Geeks and Nerds" Discussion

Postby RaisedByMongrels » Mon May 31, 2010 7:45 pm UTC

My definition has always been the same as Randall's, and I didn't realized anyone else thought differently. Weird.

The only thing I would add is that a geek's particular interest cannot be sports, cars, or hip hop. Or whatever it is that women are supposed to be into. Fashion?

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Re: "Geeks and Nerds" Discussion

Postby hatten » Mon May 31, 2010 7:59 pm UTC

In swedish, there is only one word for nerd/geek/dork; nörd. Simple and easy, those that sit with pokemon cards are nörds, those that know computers well are nörds, and those that get the girls are not.

I consider myself both a geek (I like computers) and a nerd (Pokemon, talisman, roleplaying, music), although definitely social competent...it's just that it's funnier to play video games than to go to parties and hang out with girls.

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Re: "Geeks and Nerds" Discussion

Postby 10nitro » Mon May 31, 2010 8:03 pm UTC

I made this post on another forum, though I find it relevant to here:
10nitro; Re: You know you're a geek when........ wrote:
GepettoBR wrote:
Mr-Biscuit wrote:I consider myself a "nurd."
The word geek implies someone who is socially inept.

No, it doesn't. Also, the correct spelling is "nerd". Please read a dictionary before posting pointless comments like this.


"nurd" is an archaic spelling common the mid-60s.

DORK: socially inept
NERD: Someone who specializes in a particular field, but is not necessarily an intelligent/mentally rounded.
GEEK: Passionate about knowledge, learning.

Often people point out that there is a distinction between intelligence an knowledge. Nerd is the knowledge side, geek is the intelligence side.
Nerd is generally used in a semi-derogatory sense.

However, the definitions of the 3 terms have swapped over time.

Many claim that the word "nerd" first appeared in Dr. Seuss' 1950 If I Ran the Zoo. The term in actuality, predates the book.
The word nerd seems to have developed at Renselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI).

The earliest known reference to nerd is the name "Snerd" in joke in a 1945 issue of the RPI magazine Running Light. It is clear from the joke that the term meant socially inept, the current definition of "dork".

In 1952 the RPI's magazine became Bachelor, which was a geek magazine up until 1967, when it became a hippie magazine.

Charlie Schmidt, RPI '67 wrote:In the fall of '63, the word tool, both as a noun and as a verb, was in widespread usage, with supertool commonly used to refer to the pocket-protector, side-rule-on-the-belt types. By the second semester, I remember starting to hear nerd as an alternative to supertool. A year (or less) later, and no one was referred to as a tool.


While Schmidt used a modern spelling in his email, period issues of Bachelor show that the spelling of the time was "nurd". The first instance of the term appearing in the Bachelor is in 1964 when a character named Nurdly appeared in a parody of West Side Story. After that the term "nurd" appeared several times, not as a name.
Image

In 1965 a Bachelor writer named Jack Gleb wrote a James Bond parody called "The Wedge: The Simplest of Tools". The main character, the Wedge, belonged to the species "Homo nurdus etraordinaire". Notice Gleb's use of "u" in nerd, conformance with the norm. Also, note that this started the use of the term without a negative connotation, however, it would remain negative in most uses for some time.

In 1966 he wrote a sequel titled "The Man from N.E.R.D." Around this time Bachelor writers began to consistently use "nerd" as a description of themselves. MIT's Voodoo magazine was using "nurd", this likely evolved into "gnurd", a term used at MIT, with obvious relation to the GNU project.

At an unknown time at RPI, "knurd" referred to someone who was new to college life; fresh out of high school. Despite what some may think, it has entirely different origins than "nerd", though both originated at RPI. Some claim "knurd" is derived from "drunk" spelled backwords.

At some point "knurd" began to mean "geek" in a positive sense. Orally, this likely merged with "nurd", assisting the transition from socially inept to the modern meaning of "geek".

Prior to this, "geek" seems to have held its modern meaning. However, once "nerd" took a (slightly) positive meaning, "geek" took a more negative one. Somehow this resulted in the two words having inverted definitions. Nerd continued to grow a positive connotation until the late-80s (around the time of Revenge of the nerds).

By the early-90s, however, the meanings of the two again began to swap, taking on their modern meanings and connotations.

... That's how I know I'm a geek.

I've translated the markup form vBulletin to phpBB, which is a pain because the differences are so subtle. Oh, phpBB needs quotes on [quote=] tags, but borks when you use them on [url=] tags, which need quotes in vBulletin....

Also, I replaced a link to a 404 page, and an image to their archives on web.archive.org.

Dylnuge wrote:it reminds me of the joke "Trekkers are people who like Star Trek, and Trekkies are people who insist on being called Trekkers." It's not bad, per se, I just didn't find it so great.

NO.
Trekkers are people who think that Wil Wheaton was a lucky kid who got to be on the set of Star Trek.
Trekkies are people who think that Wesley Crusher was a lucky kid who got the be on the bridge of the USS Enterprise.
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Maximus_Light
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Re: "Geeks and Nerds" Discussion

Postby Maximus_Light » Mon May 31, 2010 9:28 pm UTC

Hmm... I've been called a geek/nerd hybrid (neek) before...
Hmm... according to the comic I'm strongly opinionated about the difference between the two...
but wait... that means... I'm not the only one!?
*cries tears of joy*

djgussin wrote:I definitely believe that geeks and nerds are intelligent and capable - but I always associated geeks as being the socially inept cousins of nerds ... but then again, it could be the other way around. Although I really like the venn diagram by Omegaton

Omegaton wrote:This reminded me of this diagram:
Image


Then again, according to this one I'm just social inept...

It also reminded me of this:
http://www.nerdtests.com/ft_nt2.php?score

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Re: "Geeks and Nerds" Discussion

Postby gerv » Mon May 31, 2010 9:29 pm UTC


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StClair
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Re: "Geeks and Nerds" Discussion

Postby StClair » Mon May 31, 2010 9:43 pm UTC

10nitro wrote:NO.
Trekkers are people who think that Wil Wheaton was a lucky kid who got to be on the set of Star Trek.
Trekkies are people who think that Wesley Crusher was a lucky kid who got the be on the bridge of the USS Enterprise.

What about the people who think he was a young actor who got stuck with the role of Eugene Wesley Roddenberry's very own self-insert Canon Sue, but was lucky and cool enough to overcome that later?

rth
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Re: "Geeks and Nerds" Discussion

Postby rth » Mon May 31, 2010 10:05 pm UTC

Strange, only a couple of people here seem to be working with the definitions that I grew up with:

a nerd is an asocial person with unusual interest.
a geek is a person with similar interest as a nerd would, but who has a group of friends with wich to share that interest.
a dork is someone who is naturally socially awkward; many nerds are dorks, but not all.
a dweeb is a dork who for whatever reason, thinks that he is popular.

campbend
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Re: "Geeks and Nerds" Discussion

Postby campbend » Mon May 31, 2010 10:14 pm UTC

By his own definition the set of all nerds is a subset of all geeks. Venn Diagram Fail.

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Re: "Geeks and Nerds" Discussion

Postby Ubertrout » Mon May 31, 2010 10:57 pm UTC

But consider that most despised creature on the geek/nerd spectrum, the spaz.

And likewise the dork with his (and for once, often her) exaggerated sense of whimsy.

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Re: "Geeks and Nerds" Discussion

Postby Pfhorrest » Mon May 31, 2010 11:29 pm UTC

I find most conversations about this topic aggravating because almost everybody on all sides is wrong... but I proudly accept the appellation of geek/nerd from other geeks/nerds.

What does that make me?
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Re: "Geeks and Nerds" Discussion

Postby richardosx » Mon May 31, 2010 11:30 pm UTC

I read this comic and instantly thought
Oh DAMN. Get out of my head Randall! I spend half my time justifying to other people why I'm one and not the other, and now you give me this!?!?
How could you?

10nitro
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Re: "Geeks and Nerds" Discussion

Postby 10nitro » Tue Jun 01, 2010 3:04 am UTC

StClair wrote:
10nitro wrote:NO.
Trekkers are people who think that Wil Wheaton was a lucky kid who got to be on the set of Star Trek.
Trekkies are people who think that Wesley Crusher was a lucky kid who got the be on the bridge of the USS Enterprise.

What about the people who think he was a young actor who got stuck with the role of Eugene Wesley Roddenberry's very own self-insert Canon Sue, but was lucky and cool enough to overcome that later?

Touché. I was referencing some `standard' piece of humor about trekkies. Whatever site or whatever that I saw it on was a bit older, so he hadn't quite overcame that yet. :) Also, it took me a minute to interpret your post since you just said `he', and not `Wil' or `Wesley'.
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Boland
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Re: "Geeks and Nerds" Discussion

Postby Boland » Tue Jun 01, 2010 3:16 am UTC

Geeks - people who are extraordinarily good at some topic (not literature related, though)
Nerds - geeks who dress/talk oddly
Or at least thats how my school defined them as. Since we had a school uniform, nerds were usually just socially off, i.e. dress(had shirts tucked in, ties probably on)/talk oddly, and/or couldnt get dates.

But, I could care less about which someone calls me or anyone else. Both are compliments, imho

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Re: "Geeks and Nerds" Discussion

Postby jakerman999 » Tue Jun 01, 2010 3:19 am UTC

I've always been given the understanding that geeks have uncommon knowledge with no applicable use except for hobbies and trivia, and that nerds possess uncommon knowledge that will be of use in real world scenarios.

The difference between computer (geek|nerd)s here is that nerds can modify a computer to make it faster, or solve problems it is having, while geeks can only tell you whats wrong with it.
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Re: "Geeks and Nerds" Discussion

Postby shrimpwd » Tue Jun 01, 2010 4:56 am UTC

Well, I'm not going to argue which is which, but I'd have to say I feel more 'nerd'. I took the n/g/d test, and ended up with "Outcast Genius". I don't really care about that, but I did find the numbers interesting. 87% nerd, 74% geek, 61% dork, but the percentiles were 96/95/94 (definitely up there).

Meh. Waiting for the next comic.

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Re: "Geeks and Nerds" Discussion

Postby Griffin » Tue Jun 01, 2010 8:56 am UTC

The problem with many definitions of "geek" in this thread is that they simply don't match the actual use of the word i.e. they are wrong.

There are Sports Geeks, Musics Geeks, and Glee Geeks. Any definition that doesn't include those extremely large and willing to self-identify groups is simply incorrect or incomplete. The only thing common among the majority of definitions is the obsessive knowledge element.
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Re: "Geeks and Nerds" Discussion

Postby Kaijyuu » Tue Jun 01, 2010 9:09 am UTC

I quite obviously cannot be a nerd. Nerds are delicious candy, while I am a human being.


Self described geek though.
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Devlin du GEnie
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Re: "Geeks and Nerds" Discussion

Postby Devlin du GEnie » Tue Jun 01, 2010 10:12 am UTC

Geeks are self aware. They know what they are and embrace it.

Nerds aren't.

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Re: "Geeks and Nerds" Discussion

Postby pachinkoid » Tue Jun 01, 2010 11:04 am UTC

t-shirt!

i guess wearing one would make you look, what, 100% nerd?

would knowing this move you all the way to the left, or just into the middle?

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Re: "Geeks and Nerds" Discussion

Postby Aelfyre » Tue Jun 01, 2010 11:26 am UTC

Xander wrote:I'm just bothered that Randall says in the alt-text that his definition of "nerds" holds them as a subset of "geeks," but his Venn diagram clearly suggests a population of nerds that are not geeks. Whatever everyone's opinions on the final matter of geeks v. nerds, that is a small jump in logic there, innit?


I think techinically his graph shows that of the set of nerds, only the subset that holds a strong opinion of the difference between a nerd and a geek, are also a geek.

It's funny-ish.. but it doesn't do it for me.. my definition has always been that a geek is really into something *and* knows a great deal about it.. while a nerd has no social skills. And yes there is quite a bit of bleedover.
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Re: "Geeks and Nerds" Discussion

Postby Andrusi » Tue Jun 01, 2010 12:17 pm UTC

Aiwendil42 wrote:Now: does the fact that I already had the OED open in another tab for unrelated reaons before I even read your post make me a nerd, a geek, a feeble-minded dwarf, or what?

It makes you someone who uses tabbed browsing and, like all tabbed browsers, eventually ends up with a bunch of weird tabs open and no idea where they all came from.
Not named Dennis Miller.

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Re: "Geeks and Nerds" Discussion

Postby LeiraHoward » Tue Jun 01, 2010 12:23 pm UTC

DHeadshot wrote:An Ubernerd laughs uncontrollably at this:
Image


Great. Now I have a strong urge to dig out my old floppy disks and play Commander Keen. That'll kill my productivity today. :|

Thanks. :-D

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Re: "Geeks and Nerds" Discussion

Postby cream wobbly » Tue Jun 01, 2010 2:36 pm UTC

See, when I was growing up back in England, of pejoratives with a similar sound, one could be only a nerd or a nerk -- respectively someone socially inept, and someone both socially inept and higher-functioning mentally disabled. There were also gowk, gink (possible direct ancestor of geek?) and galoot. Australian slang has galah as well. All pretty much falling under the definition “daft sod”.

Later, when geek entered the British vocabulary by way of Hollywood, this brought the obsession factor into things, hence a nerd was someone both socially inept and obsessed in an inexpert manner, while a geek was someone obsessed by some hobby and expert in it -- and it was almost always computing, very occasionally being electronics but only if was logic. You couldn't, for example, be a “maths geek” or an “art geek”, because that would be like saying “maths astronomer” or “art physicist” -- geek describes a very particular hobby. Indeed, it inherited its definition from the far older word boffin.

On the other hand, anyone can be a nerd, but it only describes obsession when coupled with an object of obsession: “art nerd”, “maths nerd”, and yes, “computer nerd”. Being a nerd in British slang is not something to be proud of, because it says you're inept both socially and in your chosen hobby. The character John Shuttleworth is a music nerd.

One thing that complicates my definitions is the fact that Hollywood still has an influence, and as such, geek, nerd, and dork are often used in the American senses, which is to say, ill-defined. Nerdish, one might say :-P

And just as an American would know what was meant by boffin, egghead and anorak, British slang never gained dork and dweeb; while nerk was probably restricted to my immediate area, somewhat like malamanteau.
Last edited by cream wobbly on Tue Jun 01, 2010 2:45 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: "Geeks and Nerds" Discussion

Postby Aiwendil42 » Tue Jun 01, 2010 2:45 pm UTC

It makes you someone who uses tabbed browsing and, like all tabbed browsers, eventually ends up with a bunch of weird tabs open and no idea where they all came from.


Yeah, and http://xkcd.com/609/ happens to me all too frequently.

To briefly be on-topic - I'm kind of surprised by the number of people for whom 'geek' suggests less social awkwardness than 'nerd'. For me, it's something like the other way around, though I wouldn't consider that the primary distinction between the two. In my usage, the distinction (insofar as there is one) has more to do with the person's interests, a geek being more obsessed with things like science fiction and a nerd more with academic disciplines. But the distinction is vague and there are few people I would describe as entirely one and not the other.

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Re: "Geeks and Nerds" Discussion

Postby EthErealist » Tue Jun 01, 2010 3:21 pm UTC

I think a geek is a socially awkward person that has very strange hobbies. They might also like nerdy things like physics, computers, certain video games, etc, but NOT be proficient or well-versed with them.

A nerd is someone who is extremely knowledgeable in whatever 'nerdy' thing they're into.

I wish I was a nerd :(

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Re: "Geeks and Nerds" Discussion

Postby SlaserX » Tue Jun 01, 2010 4:20 pm UTC

Lion_Knight wrote:
skine wrote:A geek is one who bites heads off of chickens.

A nerd is one who knows this definition.



I can't agree enough with this statement.


Actually, my response since the time of my being a small child has always been:
Geeks bite the heads off chickens,
Nerds are a delicious Wonka candy.
/Proud nerd

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Re: "Geeks and Nerds" Discussion

Postby Dorque » Tue Jun 01, 2010 4:54 pm UTC

Both have non-mainstream interests, but for a geek, the experience around the activity (the people it is done with, the meta bits like the anticipation of the thing) is more important than the activity. For a nerd, the activity is more important than the people or context it is done with.

A Geek loves Sci-Fi and goes with friends to any new release and then discuss differences between film versions and Philip Dick original stories and which was cooler. A Nerd knows the names of every Star Trek episode and the inconsistencies between versions in regards to certain in-universe technologies, but only for the act of knowing them.

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Re: "Geeks and Nerds" Discussion

Postby Tonkseratops » Tue Jun 01, 2010 7:32 pm UTC

It's interesting seeing everyone's various definitions. The definition that is mainly used in my group of friends seperates things a bit differently (probably because we're all at least one of the three). We define them more by what they tend to obsess about:

Geeks: Technologically based, probably prefers sci-fi > fantasy, computers, has to have the coolest gadgets, likes applied science > theoretical science. After seeing Star Wars, most likely tried to build his own droid. Most likely seen in front of a computer desk with a mountain dew or bawls. A "Computer Geek" for example.

Nerds: Fantasy based, prefers fantasy > sci fi, likes theoretical math and science. After seeing Star Wars, tried constantly to use the Force to clean his room. Most likely seen playing WoW TCG or in costume at a LARPing event. A "Harry Potter Nerd" for example.

Dork: The ones who smell bad and can't hold down a conversation without making people feel awkward.

Any combination of the 3 can apply. I tend to be a nerd, with some small geek tendencies, and my boyfriend tends to be a geek, with some nerd tendencies. Thankfully, both of us shower and wear deodorant.

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Re: "Geeks and Nerds" Discussion

Postby Mikeski » Tue Jun 01, 2010 7:59 pm UTC

LeiraHoward wrote:My 2 cents -

I think that there are some regional differences in what the difference between a nerd and geek are. The definitions in the areas I've been in (Midwest and North-East United States) are usually something around these lines:

A "dork" is someone who has no social skills at all, usually very clueless and annoying, but not necessarily any smarter or more obsessed about anything than any other so-called "normal" human being. [...]

A "nerd" is someone who has no social skills at all, but is usually pretty smart and very obsessed about a particular topic or topics- generally sciences, though at times other things. [...]

A "geek" is someone who HAS social skills (of varying degrees), and is pretty smart and very obsessed over a particular topic or topics... [...]

Midwest here as well, and I've got a fairly-similar usage:

Geek: knowledgable in a field that requires intelligence, and puts said knowledge to productive use. I have a BSEE degree, and I design microchips for a living, thus I'm a geek.

Nerd: knowledgable in a field that requires intelligence, and puts said knowledge to non-productive use. I have interests in medieval history (and play D&D and attend the annual Renaissance festival), thus I'm also a nerd.

Dork: does things often associated with geekery/nerdism, but requires/has no in-depth knowledge. I follow webcomics and post in their discussion threads, thus I'm a dork as well.

I don't know anyone who calls themself a dork other than ironically, but the "socially inept" part of the description doesn't seem to be permanently attached to any of the three terms. If you use it yourself ("I'm a computer geek"), you're probably not implying it. If someone else is saying it ("He's a sci-fi nerd"), they probably are. Context.

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Re: "Geeks and Nerds" Discussion

Postby Xami » Tue Jun 01, 2010 8:24 pm UTC

Personally I prefer the term nerd. The Venn diagram earlier is accurate to me but flipping Nerd and Geek.

In the diagram Geek is outside Social Ineptitude. where I grew up, geek would refer to a socially inept person, but a nerd is somebody who was passionate / just plain knew a lot in either a particular subject or a trivia type champion.

I also think my school was backwards than most in referring to band. In my travels, at a lot of schools it was really 'not cool' to be in band. My school had those types peoples of course, but the majority found it prestigious / cool to be in band as we (note I was not in band, just saying we as in the school) were among the best (read: winning / placing high in nationals every year). This leads to my point that it was not 'band geek' but 'band nerd,' at my school which was not to be deragatory.

Edit::: This is why I laugh when I see Geek Squad. To me, Geek sounds lower on the totem pole than Nerd. Nerd Herd would probably destroy my perception of a nerd being 'cooler' than a geek though, so I'm glad they didn't go that route.

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neoliminal
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Re: "Geeks and Nerds" Discussion

Postby neoliminal » Tue Jun 01, 2010 8:37 pm UTC

After a certain age, they just call you "weird". :(


Or if you have money, eccentric.
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lgw
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Re: "Geeks and Nerds" Discussion

Postby lgw » Tue Jun 01, 2010 8:57 pm UTC

There certainly seems to be a division between those who associate "socially awkward" with geeks vs nerds. I wonder if this is generational rather than regional? I have a strong association between "nerd" and "socially awkward" that comes from having seen Revenge of the Nerds in my formative years. Is that common?

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