What Defines a “Nerd”?

I Am a Nerd_What Defines a Nerd?

Cyclops posed a question to me the other day, “are guys that are really into sports considered nerds?” Maybe I should have started out this blog by defining a nerd’s very essence. Not only does it relate to everything I post here, it brings up a philosophical debate that I’m sure Sir Francis Bacon pondered while he was shouting “nerd!” at Galileo and his “space” buddies.

Webster defines a “nerd” as:

pronounced: [nurd]  or as Ashley and I say it, “nuuuuurrrrd!”

noun Slang .
1. a stupid, irritating, ineffectual, or unattractive person.
2. an intelligent but single-minded person obsessed with a nonsocial hobby or pursuit: ex: a computer nerd.

I think statement #1 is way off, maybe it was true in the days of Saved by the Bell and Screech, but now nerds are sexy so I think the definition has morphed into statement #2. I’m not even sure that statement its 100% correct, to me the word nonsocial needs to be removed. What fun is it to “nerd” out over something if you have no one to share it with. The nerds I know all go to the comic book store in a group on Wednesday, play MTG and D&D with friends and love to have heated debates about the latest superhero movie or MLP episode.

If we are following the new definition of  “an intelligent but single-minded person obsessed with a nonsocial hobby or pursuit” then the idea of who a nerd is completely changes. Do you and your friends get together and obsess over Fantasy Football or college basketball’s Sweet Sixteen? Do you need constant updates from your favorite blogs or Twitter on the latest celebrity gossip? Do you follow a band religiously? If you answered yes to any of those questions, I have to break it to you, you might be a nerd.

Did that news hit you hard? Take a deep breath, this doesn’t mean you are going to morph into someone who is obsessed with Star Trek or is a brony. This just means you are a little bit obsessed with something. I think the reason “nerds” can handle their label is because they’ve come to terms with the fact that they may be mocked for the things they like. If you are afraid to admit your nerdiness to the rest of the world, just hide it like I do. Everyday I choose to ignore the fact that I am technically a nerd based on my obsession with Ryan Gosling, Channing Tatum and Chris Hemsworth and keep going through my days as “normal”. Just remember next time you point and call someone a nerd that you just might be one too.

Posted by Liz 

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