Above Image: Revenge of the Nerds (1984) Gilbert Lowell (Anthony Edwards) Lewis Skolnick (Robert Carradine)
A few days ago, my brother Nigel posted the infographic Geek vs. Nerd: Explained. In popular culture the words are used interchangeably. But it wasn't always that way.
Until recently, the word "Nerd" was used a lot, especially on the 70s show Happy Days and the movie Revenge of the Nerds (1984). Since the TV show Freaks and Geeks (1999), the term "Geek" is used more as a less insulting term.
One online dictionary describes "Nerd" this way:
"Nerd is a term often bearing a derogatory connotation or stereotype, that refers to a person who passionately pursues intellectual activities, esoteric knowledge, or other obscure interests that are age inappropriate rather than engaging in more social or popular activities. Therefore, a nerd is often excluded from physical activity and considered a loner by peers, or will tend to associate with like-minded people."
The word "Geek" is probably a variant of Scottish "geck," or fool, from Middle Low German geck.
Collins English Dictionary describes Geek this way:
1. a person who is preoccupied with or very knowledgeable about computing
2. a boring and unattractive social misfit
3. a degenerate
Does it make a difference? Which are you? Vote using the poll below. Ask your friends to vote too. Let's find out how many Geeks vs. Nerds there are in the world.
Are you a "Geek," a "Nerd" or both?
[Image Source: Vanity Fair]
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