Nerd & Geek – Another Perspective

Once more into week out and I have to contend with reducing the population of tabs in my browsers. And I am unable to use Swift’s “Irish Solution” simply due to inedibility.

One of my colleagues, Total Linear Angular Momentum, sent me a link to an  enlightening bit [Link] on the difference between geeks and nerds. This has been a subject of some discussion here. Not to belabor that discussion (monologue except between my ears) but my basic differentiation is that a geek is someone who can talk but a nerd can do. Alternately, I have been charitable enough to offer that a geek can use an equation but it takes a nerd to derive one.

Anyway, this article takes a bit of a more rigorous approach. First, it advances these definitions:

  • geek – An enthusiast of a particular topic or field. Geeks are “collection” oriented, gathering facts and mementos related to their subject of interest. They are obsessed with the newest, coolest, trendiest things that their subject has to offer.
  • nerd – A studious intellectual, although again of a particular topic or field. Nerds are “achievement” oriented, and focus their efforts on acquiring knowledge and skill over trivia and memorabilia.

Then it does a bit of a statistical testing on words associated with these definitions. I shan’t belabor this other than to note that terms having to do with computers tend to lie on the boundary between geek and nerd. This tends to confirm my own prejudices that computer science isn’t. Or perhaps I should say it’s a special type of stamp collecting?

I have to admit I am quite impressed by this. It expands my own observations from geek as a handicapped nerd to a more meaningful difference, collector versus knower/doer.


But now it would seem that some effort needs to be devoted to addressing those who are neither?

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