Are We All Geeks Now?
Geek: /gēk/ Noun 1. A carnival performer often billed as a wild man. 2. A person often of an intellectual bent who is disliked. 3. An enthusiast or expert especially in a technological field or activity. - Merriam-Webster Dictionary
July 13th is Embrace Your Geek Day. There has been a lot of confusion about what it means to be a geek. Is it the same as being a nerd or a dork? How about a dweeb? Do we all really know what those terms mean, or have we largely lived off of stereotypes we've seen in movies?
Or have the meanings changed over time?
The dictionary definitions for geek, nerd and dork all tend to lean toward using words like inept, lacking social skills, or unattractive to describe them - all holdovers of stereotypes from around thirty years ago when movies began indoctrinating us about what it means to be socially awkward.
Revenge of the Nerds made its movie debut in 1984, introducing us to a class of people who were incredibly smart, but socially incapable of holding it together. Nerds were portrayed as clumsy, gangly, poorly dressed and incredibly shy around members of the opposite sex. Everyone else, of course, was knee-deep in partying, posing with our self-important cliques, ditching class and getting sexually involved with someone they shouldn't. Yeah...
Every kid who tinkered with his Commodore 64 at the time, who stayed home at night to learn how to program in COBOL or Fortran was immediately put into this category, and socially treated like a Casey Anthony trial juror. If in addition to your technological prowess your idea of haute couture was to mix patterns between your pants and shirt (and maybe even your socks oh my!,) oh it just went downhill from there. Life was a banquet all around you, and you were the gristle on the side of some jock's plate.Continued on the next page