The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, by Juinot Diaz

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When you see someone characterize someone else as a nerd, what do you generally think about this person, what if this same person is characterized as a geek? Most people generally hold a negative connotation with one of these titles, some see it as the geek and some see it as the nerds. Oscar De Leon and Yunior from Juinot Diaz’s The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao can be classified as members of either of these groups in some ways. There are ways that they fit in and ways that they don’t but first, in order to see how Oscar and Yunior fit into the geek or nerd classifications or not the criteria must be defined.

Everyone treats the titles of a geek and a nerd as 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 tries to do 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...

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... the geek is in fact the negative and some other people that feel that the geek is the negative one and other people who think that the nerd is the negative title it is strongly open to interpretation. However, due to the evidence in the novel of The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Juinot Diaz it can be seen that the author is on the side that feels that the nerd is the worse title than a geek although the term geek is never attributed to either character.

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.
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