Observations of a Nerd

Why A Nerd?

I’ve often been referred to as a nerd, dork, geek, etc, so I thought I ought to own up to it right away. I wouldn’t want to give the impression that this blog is going to be written by someone with immaculate fashion sense and a keen eye for shoes. But which, pray tell, am I really? A nerd, a dork, or a geek? It turns out that the three don’t exactly mean what I thought they did, and after extensive Wikipedia research (which we all know is the end-all-be-all of thorough research technique) I’ve settled on Nerd. Why?

Well, for one, I’m not a Geek. While the definition of Geek is up for interpretation, the classic meaning of “Geek” is a derogatory term for a person a) obsessed with intellectual pursuits (which, arguably, I am) but also b) deficient in most other human attributes so as to impair the person’s operation within society. Alright, while I’m not the most social butterfly I know, I am definitely not socially inept, nor do I consider myself deficient in most human attributes. If I accepted the more P.C. version of the definition, as an ‘odd’ person who is overly obsessed with something that places them outside the mainstream, then O.K. I’m a bit Geeky. I prefer to avoid the negative connotation though, so “Geek” is out.

I am definitely not a Dork. Did you know Dorks are generally defined as Geeks and Nerds except without the intelligence? Yeah, thanks, but no thanks on being a Dork. I rather highly rate my intelligence, thank-you-very-much. I may not be the next Einstein, but I am definitely not “a stupid and socially inept person who is out of touch with contemporary trends.” The fact that it’s also a slang word for penis makes the label less appealing as well. If I’m a Dork I’m either an obsessive nitwit or a dick. Nope. DEFINITELY not the right term.

So with two down I was a bit scared to find out what the real meaning of ‘Nerd’ was. A ‘Nerd’ is a person who “passionately pursues intellectual activities, esoteric knowledge, or other obscure interests… rather than engaging in more social or popular activities.” That pretty much sums up, oh I don’t know, my entire life. Let’s see – I stay at home on Friday nights to watch Planet Earth or some other Discovery Channel special. I read Science News daily, if not hourly. Did I mention that I have a deep and uncontrollable love for Jeff Corwin, Dave Salmoni, and Mike Rowe? So I guess it would be fruitless for me to even attempt to hide the fact that I am a Nerd 100%. You might even make that 110%. After all, I coerce my friends into my nerd-riffic pursuits as well.

Well, with that cleared up, I guess it’s time to scan the internet for my next nerd-tastic topic. I know you can’t wait!