Geek or Nerd?

Brandon Beattie brandon+plug at
Mon Sep 18 11:02:33 MDT 2006

On Mon, Sep 18, 2006 at 10:04:01AM -0600, Clint Savage wrote:
> On 9/18/06, Jacob Fugal <lukfugl at> wrote:
> >
> >On 9/17/06, Kenneth Burgener <kenneth at> wrote:
> >> For those who wear the badge with pride, do you call yourself a Geek, a
> >> Nerd, a Hacker, or some other term?
> >
> >Geek.
> >
> >Incidentally, looking at the comic on the wikipedia page, *if* I split
> >nerd vs. geek along the same axis (obsession vs. pragmatism) I'd
> >reverse Girl's judgement and put nerd on the obsessive side. The axis
> >I usually use to judge geek vs. nerd, however, is degree of social
> >ineptitude. By definition (from the Jargon file) geeks aren't the best
> >socialites, but that's often by choice (even if a subconcious one).
> >Geeks just prioritize social standing below accomplishment, etc. Nerds
> >on the other hand (in my definition) are those that don't understand
> >their lack of social skills, and can even get on the nerves of geeks
> >at times. :)
> >
> >Remember, though, these are the definitions *I* use -- if you call
> >yourself nerd, don't worry that I'm going to think less of you,
> >because your definition of nerd may match my definition of geek. You
> >only have to worry about my opinion of you if *I* call you a nerd. And
> >then again, if you're a geek or nerd, you probably don't care about my
> >opinion of you, and with good reason. :)

In the terms I've heard, geek usually refers to someone with more
technical background.  Nerds are usually used as labels for people with
very indepth knowledge of less mainstream (but not limited to technology) 
areas.  Chess, fantasy books, renaissance, biology, chemistry, physics, etc.
It's possibly to be both, but if you're mostly only into computers
you're a geek.  If you're hacking your xbox for linux and first in line
to LOTR and read every book you're both geek and nerd.  If you've read
ever harry potter book and are first in line for the movies, and your
computer has been modded into the marauders map you're probably only 
a nerd, unless you've written your own harry potter MUD.


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