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On nerds and dreamers

From:Jörg Rhiemeier <joerg_rhiemeier@...>
Date:Wednesday, March 2, 2005, 20:41

The survey question whether one considers conlanging a "nerdy" activity
caused me to think about nerds and dreamers.

A "nerd", as I understand the word, is someone who is single-mindedly
pursuing one special field.  This type is especially common in the
computer trade, and I learned to know many nerds when I was studying
computer science in university.  These people do almost nothing
without computers.  Their hobbies are computer programming, computer
games, computer this and computer that.  At most, they play chess,
or role-playing games, but the latter without actually role-playing,
reducing the game to dice-rolling and rules-lawyering.  Some nerds
conlang, but their conlangs are mostly loglangs, engelangs or other
non-naturalist projects, often inspired by computer programming
languages more than by human languages.  And there is almost never
a conculture attached.

Another personality type who is frequently mistaken for a nerd is
the "dreamer".  Unlike the nerd, who isn't really all that imaginative,
the dreamer is a very imaginative person.  Dreamers like to play
with imaginary worlds of some kind.  Some have discovered computers
as tools for their imagination, but that is far not necessary.
Dreamers often play role-playing games, but unlike nerds, they
actually role-play.  Many dreamers are conlangers, and their conlangs
are often naturalist and usually quite fanciful and accompanied
by elaborate conculture.  A nerd could never build something like
Quenya or Tsolyani; it takes a dreamer to do that.

What do you think?




Andreas Johansson <andjo@...>
Joe <joe@...>
Sally Caves <scaves@...>
Christian Thalmann <cinga@...>
Jonathan Chang <zhang23@...>
taliesin the storyteller <taliesin-conlang@...>