Friday, March 25, 2011

Finally, a legitimate method of describing your 'friends'

How many of you out there (all 2 of you) have ever had this conversation with friends:
You: "You're such a nerd."
Friend: "At least I'm not a dork like you."
You: "I'd rather be a dork than a nerd."
Friend: "Whatever you geek."
You: "Says a nerd.  Dorks are way cooler." infinitum until you realize that you both have no idea what any of those words really means.

So I have solved your verbal conundrum for you.
After reading this blog and that blog, it seems that all three words have been used almost interchangeably in modern times, but do have very distinct origins:

Geek: Described 'fools' and 'freaks' typically found in circus shows back in the early 20th century.
Nerd: First used by Dr. Seuss, and denoted people who were 'drips' or 'squares' (antisocial recluses).  Also said to have come from 'drunk' backwards ('knurd'), for kids who studied all the time.
Dork: Originally meant 'penis'.  Yup.  Penis.  Came from 'Dirk', before the more common term we use today became the norm.

Of course meanings of words change over time, and I endorse these following definitions as how they should be used today (and how I've always understood them):

"Growing up (in the 90′s, midwest) we broke it down like this:
Nerd implied kids who were smart and overly interested in academic pursuits (even if they dressed well and were semi-popular).
Geek did not imply intellegence but usally someone who was obsessed with a pop culture theme enough to base a significant portion of their life around it (Star Wars, sports statistics, etc)
Dork had the least conneciton to braininess, but referred to someone who displayed exceptional lack of fashion sense, clumsiness, weirdness or awkwardness.
So, one could be all three but being in one category did not imply that you belonged to either of the others"

These make sense to me since I'm sure you've heard people use any of these terms endearingly.  Some 'friends' (*cough* Trang *cough*) of mine claim that there is a hierarchy with dork being on the bottom, which also happens to be what I am called the most.  Now we know better.  I am a dorky videogame geek.

And if this was actually interesting to you, you are such a nerd.

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