I met up with a couple of people from high school last night. I had a good time, despite not having seen these people in a very long time. One term they kept throwing around was “nerd”… and well, I’m just pretentious enough with my geek culture to have different definitions for nerd, geek, and dork.
Nerd: My friends were using the term “nerd” to denote a socially awkward person, or someone who did really strange or silly things. Now, I don’t deny that most nerds would show these types of behavior, but to me, a nerd is someone who is VERY invested in academic pursuits. For instance, a person who is REALLY into classic literature, chemistry, computer technology, math, or what have you, is a big freaking NERD. There isn’t anything wrong with this. I’m very nerdy when it comes to computer technology, for instance. I work in IT and I get really excited when I get to work with virtualization of servers.
Geek: This is the term that probably best defines me. A geek is someone who is VERY invested in media. A geek is the most knowledgeable person when it comes to movies, music, video games, TV shows, or something along those lines. Of course, every geek has his or her specialization. Mine is obviously video games, but I actually know a lot about music and movies as well.
Dork: A dork is someone who is well meaning, but socially awkward. Dorky behavior would be dancing around and singing silly nonsensical songs in public, or someone who over explains something they GEEK OUT over to people who honestly don’t care.
The thing about all three of these terms is that they can all be attributed to the same person. Like I said, I’m nerdy about technology, but I’m really geeky about video games. I also tend to trip over myself, stutter, or talk too much about video games to people who just don’t give a shit.