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Geeks and Nerds (was Re: On nerds and dreamers)

From:Kevin Athey <kevindeanathey@...>
Date:Thursday, March 3, 2005, 3:53
>From: Sally Caves <scaves@...> > >Meanwhile, back to nerd and geek. What do others think is a distinction >between these two? "Geek" does seem to have gravitated more to the >technical side than "nerd" does.
Both terms, of course, vary greatly in meaning from speaker to speaker. A friend of mine and I once got into a lengthy discussion about just what the distinction was, at least for us, and we came up with rather technical definitions, which continue to serve us well, at least within the "in-group". I shall share those with you now: Geek: A "geek" is any person such that there exists some topic such that there does not exist a comfort-based limit of acceptable interest in the topic for the person. That is, a geek has at least one area of interest (often more) where the normal societal cap of just how far you can get "into" the area doesn't exist. Nerd: A "nerd" is a geek such that the geek is not aware that comfort-based limits of acceptable interest exist. That is, a nerd is also deeply interested in at least one topic, but is not aware that his or her interest in this (or any other) topic is abnormal. We also speak of the Omnigeek and the Metageek. The Omnigeek is a geek whose areas of interest (wherein the above limit does not exist) are coterminous with classical "geeky" areas of interest, such as computers and role-playing games. The Metageek is a geek for whom _all_ topics can be classed as geek areas of interest. I hope that's of some interest. Athey _________________________________________________________________ On the road to retirement? Check out MSN Life Events for advice on how to get there!