Friday, April 24, 2015

Geek vs. Nerd

It seems to me that some people now a days have problems telling a nerd from a geek. So, I’m going to set the record straight. That way this confusion over who is a nerd and who is a geek can end. To first illustrate my point I have a little video from youtube to help start you thinking. 

 As you can see from this video there are some distinct differences between a true nerd and a true geek. However, there are some places where the two overlap. Which leads to the confusion of the two. To help explain the differences I will preface this. A nerd can have geeky qualities and a geek can have nerdy qualities. These two kinds of people do not have incompatible qualities.
To help you better understand the differences between a geek and a nerd I’ll take you to the origin of their respective names. The word “geek” originated in the early 1900s. It was given to a person who worked in a carnival sideshow. This person would perform bizarre or disgusting acts, like biting off the head of a chicken (gross).
The origin of the word “nerd” can be traced back a doctor by the name of Suess in 1954. In a line from one of his books he wrote, “A merkle, a nerd, and a seersucker too!” The connation for a nerd is of a person who is irritating, unattractive, who is brilliant but chooses non-social pursuits.
Here’s what those terms actually mean for someone in today’s world. A geek is someone generally knowledgeable (often to the point of obsession) on a certain topic. Geeks are often very good with technology. They are frequently self-taught in how to do things like computer programming. The hallmark of a Geek is that they closely follow whatever obsession they have. Wither it be technology, science fiction, fantasy, etc. These people love to obsess over their favorite fandom. Also, a geek is a very social creature. They appear to look like your average person. Unless you start up a conversation about their fandom you won’t be able to tell if they are a geek at all.
A nerd on the other hand is a very different animal. A nerd is generally solitary. If they do socialize it is with others of their own kind (other nerds). They also specialize in things that a geek enjoys as well. This is often where the lines get crossed about who is a nerd and who is a geek and that leads to major confusion.
I hope to have cleared some things up for you guys. To clarify, I am a geek. I have friends that are and aren’t geeks. I obsess over fandoms like The Legend of Zelda, Star Wars, and Lord of the Rings. However, I do have some nerdy tendencies. I often prefer solitude because socializing can cause some anxiety but I will still do it and enjoy meeting people from all walks of life. However, I love hanging out with others of my own kind. It helps to recharge my spirit when I know that I’m not the only geek walking around my college campus.
Now, which one are you?
(if you want more information you can find it at this link: it’s where I got most of my information is very helpful)        

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