Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Are you a Geek or Nerd?

Last month the BBC featured an article: Are 'geek' and 'nerd' now positive terms? telling how Swedish campaigners are trying to force changes to the derogatory dictionary definitions of geek and nerd:

    geek
    noun /gēk/ 
    geeks, plural
    1. An unfashionable or socially inept person

      • A person with an eccentric devotion to a particular interest
        • - a computer geek
      • A carnival performer who does wild or disgusting acts

      nerd
      noun /nərd/ nurds, plural
      1. A foolish or contemptible person who lacks social skills or is boringly studious
        • - one of those nerds who never asked a girl to dance
      2. An intelligent, single-minded expert in a particular technical discipline or profession
        • - he single-handedly changed the Zero image of the computer nerd into one of savvy Hero

    When I was at school in the 80's, the definitions were a good fit. The "nerd" was the guy who spent his lunchtimes in the library studying. He lacked social skills, was boringly studious and went on to become a pathologist. Personal computers were new then and us "geeks" hung out in the computer lab whenever we could. We were a little unfashionable and eccentric and did not get invited to parties.

    From xkcd: A webcomic of romance, sarcasm, math, and language 
    Now many (rich and) famous geeks and nerds are almost worshipped by the masses hungry for their latest electronic creations. A lot of the top rating movies and television shows feature geeks and nerds as heroes. The terms now have more positive meaning. New Zealand geeks got their own second level domain .geek.nz in 2003. Geekli.st is "a place for geeks to share what they've done, who they did it with and connect with great companies and communities".

    Geeks vs Nerds
    From: MastersInIt.org

    My "Geekly" playlist on GrooveShark:

    Geekly by Peter Murray on Grooveshark

    More reading:
    How to tell the difference between Geeks and Nerds: 7 steps.
    Essential Nerd Movies

    2 comments:

    Peter Murray said...

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    Peter Murray said...

    Some interesting statistical analysis On “Geek” Versus “Nerd”by burrsettles on SLACKPROPAGATION