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The great Geek vs Nerd debate

by Steven Williamson on 31 July 2008, 15:40

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To determine whether we fit into the Geek or Nerd category we first need to establish what the differences are between the two.

The definitions are hazy to say the least, depending on which dictionary you read , which website you find yourself browsing, or even which culture you're speaking to, however, we've done a fair bit of reading on the subject recently and have taken what we feel is the general consensus of the definitions of both terms, in conjunction with our own feelings on the subject.

Entries to Wikipedia (not the most reliable of sources) state that the word Geek no longer has a definitive meaning and the terms nerd, dweeb and dork could be classed as sub-categories of geek, but we feel that a 'geek' can be clearly defined by the following traits:

- Displays an advanced technical knowledge, gadgets etc.
- Displays an advanced knowledge in one particular subject, to an extent that may be considered odd
- An avid PC enthusiast
- Revels in knowing things that most people don't understand
- Very intelligent, but not only in certain subjects. A geek also displays good general intelligence.
- Has an active social life

The differences between Geeks and Nerds appear to be minimal, but there are notable differences.

Wikipedia states that a 'Nerd' 'is a term often bearing a derogatory connotation or stereotype, that refers to a person 'who passionately pursues intellectual activities, esoteric knowledge, or other obscure interests.'

After reading on the subject of nerds, we believe they may display the following traits:

- Put intellectual pursuits before social gatherings or communications
- Shows intense interest and has advanced knowledge an a particular 'nerdy' subject, such as Chess or LOST
- Studious, well educated, works hard at school and will dedicate themselves totally to certain subjects, such as understanding the entire Halo Universe inside out
- Socially inept
- Knowledge and learning takes precedence over appearance.

Of course, there are plenty of sub-categories, gaming geeks, Dr Who nerds and so on. We've made our assumptions on the differences between the two terms and now we'd like to hear from you by taking part in our poll and debate on Nerds and Geeks. Which category do you fit in? Is it cooler to be a Geek or A Nerd?

Let the battle between geeks and nerds begin... check out the poll and join in the debate in the HEXUS.community forums.

HEXUS Forums :: 46 Comments

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I'd say I'm more of a nerd than a geek, although I do have a social life. I do like diving into particular subjects and learning them inside out.

As soon as someone mentions computer games in general conversation I can bore people for hours.
Steven W;1486900
As soon as someone mentions computer games in general conversation I can bore people for hours.

Dude, I could talk about Super Mario games until your face melts.
I'm me, more of a geek but i pull it off, so you wouldn't know.
Dude, I could talk about Super Mario games until your face melts.


I met my sister in law's new boyfriend over the weekend for the first time and he is obsessed with anything Nintendo, his knowledge on the whole history blew me away. He's coming round, without girlfriend, this weekend armed with Super Smash Bros Brawl! A new nerd friend for me! Yay!
I think there are intellegent people, and there are stupid people.

I class intellegent people as: Achieves to a high calibre in what they do (whatever they do, be it canoeing, baking or PC modding). And are naturally knowledgable and curious about how things work (even if they don't show it).

I class stupid people as: Isn't capable of achieving anything worthwhile. Doesn't know what to do with their lives because of their inability to inspire and show initiative.

It may seem harsh at first but think about it and perhaps you will agree. I don't really think you should class people as geek, nerd, goth or hooligan; as long as you're intellegent I don't mind who you are.