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  1. #1

    What is the difference between a Nerd and a Geek?

    At long last, we might settle this question. I am reprinting part of a conversation I had with JediTricks.

    I seek permission to represent both Nerds and Geeks for this discussion.

    I would debate that there is a difference in definitions between "nerd" and "geek."

    Best Buy promotes people presumably handy with computer repair as "tech geeks" (their Geek Squad). These people are (presumably) smart.

    Yes, a geek may be socially inept, but they are still smart.

    It is true that this might translate to being smart in so far as remembering trivial facts from fictional fantasy: such as Optimus Prime was once Orion Pax. You had to watch probably only 1 or 2 very specific episodes to know that (or be plugged in to fandom outlets) - and remember it from 1984.

    Now isn't a nerd just a fanboy? A nerd would know the Orion Pax reference, perhaps. Or they might just be socially inept. But is there any basis in conventional language to promote the nerd as being SMART? (There might be. I just don't have the reference myself.)

    So therefore, if you want to talk about your fandom, should you not refer to your "inner-nerd," and your technological intelligence as your "inner geek?"

    It may often be possible for us to be both Nerds and a Geeks, but those characteristics refer to different parts of our personalities.

    What do you think?
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  2. #2
    I think that I'm accurate by saying that a Nerd or Geek is someone who will take time to respond to this thread.


    I.e. .....like me.
    For my ally is the Force, and a powerful ally it is.

  3. #3
    Answer this simple question, you'll know which it is...no explanation or reasoning needed...just first impulse.


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    Nerds=Voldemort
    Geeks=Vader
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  4. #4
    Voldemort would mop the floor with Vader. Sorry, I like Vader. But he'd probably just cry about something.

    Seriously, though an immortal wizard of unimaginable power vs a "mere" Sith Lord, especially when he's missing most of his limbs and restricted to a tin can?
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  5. #5
    Nerds are more sci-fi with a techy edge, like those who get into nerdy things like Star Trek. Most nerds are gawky in appearance and never seem to have fully moved beyond puberty. If you have any episodes of Star Trek recorded on anything (DVD, VHS, etc), you are a Nerd.

    Geeks are more into sci fi stories that are more classical in nature and don't concentrate on being techy, like Star Wars. Geeks can come in all shapes and sizes, but tend to be physically more mature than standard nerds.

    Dorks are into Swords and Horses fantasy nonsense, like Dungeons & Dragons, Lord of the Rings, and playing strategy games like RISK after age 12. Dorks tend to be overweight, wear black Tshirts that are too small for them, and never really look anyone in the eye.

    If someone is into all of them, I think that the term is "Celibate."

  6. #6
    Look at stillacomic up there with the three paragraph setup to the punchline.

  7. #7
    I have to disagree with StillaComic (Geeze Caesar - I think that nickname just might stick! Good one - sorry Brian - it's definitely funny)

    While I'll have to take a while longer to formulate my final definition of a Dork, I don't think the genre they're into establishes them. I think it's how a Nerd or Geek goes about expressing their enthusiasm for their interests. They ARE largely unaware of how they are perceived, possibly (Dorks) - but not necessarily. Some may enjoy being purposely eccentric and socially misfit. I'm not positive that I fit a classic definition of a Dork myself, but I'd like to. However I am not into RPGs or even video games, or board games. However, I could see a Dork arrive at a college fraternity party at 11pm and try and recruit people to play Yahtze. What a Dorky thing to do! Like I said, a person might be sincerely interested in playing Yahtze (or Scrabble) or something - at a DJ'd party nevertheless - but another Dork in the same situation might do it just to be a precoscious instigator - knowing full-well this would not be the Yahtze crowd. The Instigator type would follow that inquery up with "I know: want to watch C-SPAN?" (Well, there I might be a real Dork, because I actually WOULD like to watch C-SPAN - until I can meet a girl for myself at the party and pretend like I'm a politician and she's my intern )

    But back to Nerd / Geek differences:

    StillaComic thinks Nerds have the techy-edge. I say it's Geeks. Who wants to weigh in on this important issue?

    BTW: either can be gawky in appearance. Some are unaware and unschooled in hygene, while others simply just don't care. This is not a condition exclusive to Nerds and Geeks though. A "Man's Man" could just as soon leave the public restroom without washing his hands. Indiana Jones doesn't make a habit of shaving or tucking in his shirt (depends on the occasion though).
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  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Tycho View Post
    While I'll have to take a while longer to formulate my final definition of a Dork, I don't think the genre they're into establishes them.
    A dork is someone who has to "take a while longer" to "formulate a final definition of a Dork."
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  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by stillakid View Post
    Nerds are more sci-fi with a techy edge, like those who get into nerdy things like Star Trek. Most nerds are gawky in appearance and never seem to have fully moved beyond puberty. If you have any episodes of Star Trek recorded on anything (DVD, VHS, etc), you are a Nerd.

    Geeks are more into sci fi stories that are more classical in nature and don't concentrate on being techy, like Star Wars. Geeks can come in all shapes and sizes, but tend to be physically more mature than standard nerds.

    Dorks are into Swords and Horses fantasy nonsense, like Dungeons & Dragons, Lord of the Rings, and playing strategy games like RISK after age 12. Dorks tend to be overweight, wear black Tshirts that are too small for them, and never really look anyone in the eye.

    If someone is into all of them, I think that the term is "Celibate."

    Hey . . I'm all of those . . . I'm not celibate . . . no really . . .I'm not . . . I have kids . . .

    I usually think of a Nerd as someone who is intelligent, usually very good at some math or science. Most likely a career as an accountant or scientist. Something along that line. More about brain power and most likely laking in social aspects. Sometimes it may be said that they are "book smart and common sense stupid". Probably also sports what could be called the "classic nerd look", glasses, lanky, high water pants.

    A Geek to me would be someone who is passionate about something that most people are not. Computers, Movies (Star Wars, LOTR, etc), Swords and role play. Still intelligent but not as much brain power as the Nerd. They are a less socially awkward, and unless you would see them involved in their "obsession" they may appear somewhat normal.

    That's just how I see it . . now the grey area that comes between those two . . .that's shades of Dork . . not quite Nerd . . not quite Geek. Of course geek has become more sheik then when I was a closet geek. We use to get our butts kicked for being geek/nerdy. Now it seems like its cool . . . . . when did that happen???
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  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Dar' Argol View Post
    A Geek to me would be someone who is passionate about something
    I think that's a good point....I was thinking the opposite, that a Geek is the genius and the Nerd is into obscure hobbies...but when you hear Geek as a verb it's usually "I'm geeked about *such and such*" which implies a passion..whereas you would never hear "I'm nerds about *such and such*"....

    Then again, Nerd gets a candy...and that much sugar can produce a type of temporary passionate state (called a sugar rush)....

    ???
    For my ally is the Force, and a powerful ally it is.

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