Nerds and Geeks

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The titles of nerd and geek could in some ways be considered objective but, looking deep enough one should be able to find a subjective and definite definition. These can be found by looking into some dictionaries the article as the author does in, “Nerd, Geek, Dweeb, Twerp — In Computer Lingo, Which One Are You?” in Community College Week by Reid Goldsborough. He finds that many of these definitions do not agree and looks to see if there is a definite answer and makes an attempt to find a modernized answer.

According to its first definition of the word, a nerd is a "foolish or contemptible person who lacks social skills or is boringly studious." That sounds about right. But Oxford's first definition of geek is synonymous: "An unfashionable or socially inept person." Oxford's second definitions of both words are also synonymous, nerd as "an intelligent, single-minded expert in a particular technical discipline or profession" and geek as "a person with an eccentric devotion to a particular interest. (Goldsborough, 2010)

This generally could be considered to mean that the terms of geeks and nerds are completely and utterly synonymous but, people in the modern nerd and geek culture may disagree. If one mentioned this definition to a person who considers themselves a geek or nerd they would highly disagree these people know that there is a great difference between a nerd and a geek. While they may not be able to give a distinct, concise definition they know full well that there is a big difference. This is expressed in the Goldsborough article as well.

The best distinction I've heard is that the word "nerd" connotes social awkwardness while "geek" conveys specialized expertise and devotion. The former is negative, the lat...

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... is in today, or attended something like the New York Comic-Con which is a large gathering of nerds in the Jacob Javits Convention Center held annually now.

Works Cited

Croal, N. (2008, August 18). You Don't Have to Be a Nerd. Newsweek, 152(7), p. 66.

Diaz, J. (2007). The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao. New York: Riverhead Books.

Goldsborough, R. (2010, January 25). Nerd, Geek, Dweeb, Twerp — In Computer Lingo, Which One Are You? Community College Week, p. 16.

Grover, R. (2010, August 2). The Rise of Geek Chic. Bloomburg Businessweek, pp. 72-73.

Hannan, J. (2008, March-April). The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao. World Literature Today, pp. 65-66.

Kim. (n.d.). The Annotated Oscar Wao: Notes and translations for The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz. Retrieved 05 07, 2011, from The Annotated Oscar Wao: http://www.annotated-oscar-wao.com/

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