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Nerdy as derogatory

  1. Aug 4, 2009 #1
    "Nerdy" as derogatory

    A society that treats the smartest, most cultivated few as "nerdy" rather than looking up to them as the "wise".... can it prosper for long?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 4, 2009 #2
    Re: "Nerdy" as derogatory

    There is a difference between 'wise', 'intelligent', and 'nerdy'.

    While nerds are often intelligent they may well not be wise and while the nerdy may be intelligent the intelligent are not always nerdy. The term generally implies a lack of social skills and perhaps even a level of naivete in many less than intellectual matters. Would you not equally look up to (or down on) the 'dumb jock' who does the work on your car?
     
  4. Aug 4, 2009 #3
    Re: "Nerdy" as derogatory

    This.

    Book smarts does not equate to social 'smarts' or street smarts. I have met some book smart people that are dumb as all get out.
     
  5. Aug 4, 2009 #4
    Re: "Nerdy" as derogatory

    An open question:

    Compare "nerd" to "pimp," "jock," "head," "hick," "punk" or "snob" (and all of the other high school epithets) - which would you prefer being called?
     
  6. Aug 4, 2009 #5

    Pythagorean

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    Re: "Nerdy" as derogatory

    The derogatory nerd is not an insult aimed at academically intelligent people, but rather an insult aimed at people who are socially retarded. There's also cases where people want you to go out for whiskey and white women with them, so they try to discourage you from studying by trivializing your efforts, but that's not a genuine use of the word nerd...
     
  7. Aug 4, 2009 #6

    Pengwuino

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    Re: "Nerdy" as derogatory

    So what is the difference between "nerd" and "geek"? hmm...

    Wait I think I already know. Nerds are socially awkward and try to be brainy. Geeks seem to be socially awkward but don't try to be intelligent (such as star wars "nerds").
     
  8. Aug 4, 2009 #7
    Re: "Nerdy" as derogatory

    The way I usually define them and the way most people seem to see them...

    Nerds- Highly intelligent and interested/involved in maths and the sciences. Oblivious on the matter of social skills and often somewhat anti-social.

    Geeks- Fanboys (or girls) who are obsessed with one or more types of 'geek culture' such as comic books, video games, computers, ect. May or may not have social skills.

    Dorks- People completely lacking in social skills but who try really hard to be social and most often just annoy people.
     
  9. Aug 4, 2009 #8

    Pythagorean

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    Re: "Nerdy" as derogatory

    yeah, my stereotyping is similar to that, but I think I judge more by the sound of the word than the common use (though I wouldn't be surprised if they were somehow correlated):

    Nerds don't seem to care so much about what other people think and can sometimes be "elitist" towards social customs. The connotation of the word is gentle, humble, carefree, maybe even cute.

    Geeks are basically fanatics of the type of hobbies that lack the blue-collar feel (i.e. not sports or cars, for instance.) The connotation of geek is somewhat mundane.

    Dork seems more like a creepy/awkward type of nerd. I don't know if there's a positive use for dork. The connotation is terrible and reminds me of another four letter word...
     
  10. Aug 4, 2009 #9
    Re: "Nerdy" as derogatory

    What are the people called who try to sound smart by, for example, using uncommon words you almost never hear in everyday conversation (And you know they know most people aren't going to know what that word means, yet they use it anyway. Sometimes they'll even pause after that word to allow someone to question what that word means)? Those are usually the people who aren't very smart, but they're trying to fit in with some kind of intellectual crowd by acting smart.
     
  11. Aug 4, 2009 #10

    negitron

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    Re: "Nerdy" as derogatory

    Pompous asses.
     
  12. Aug 4, 2009 #11
    Re: "Nerdy" as derogatory

    I like these definitions, and I also like how they are organized in order of decreasing intelligence. Expanding upon this slightly we can form the complete spectrum,

    Genius - A person so intelligent that they had to be gifted with superior abilities in addition to being studious and intelligent. No anti-social behavior implied, and they actually get respect for it.

    Nerd - Highly intelligent and interested/involved in maths and the sciences. Oblivious on the matter of social skills and often somewhat anti-social.

    Geek - Fanboys (or girls) who are obsessed with one or more types of 'geek culture' such as comic books, video games, computers, ect. May or may not have social skills.

    Dork - People completely lacking in social skills but who try really hard to be social and most often just annoy people.

    Retard - Someone so annoyingly dumb that you question their mental ability
     
  13. Aug 4, 2009 #12
    Re: "Nerdy" as derogatory

    my girlfriend calls me a dork. hmmmm. looks like i have to smack a *****?
     
  14. Aug 4, 2009 #13

    BobG

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    Re: "Nerdy" as derogatory

    "Nerd" is a derogatory term?! I don't think so! Otherwise, why do all my friends call me a nerd?

    "Geek" is a carnival worker that bites the heads off of live chickens.

    "Doork" is a person who pulls on the door when the sign clearly says "Push".
     
  15. Aug 4, 2009 #14
    Re: "Nerdy" as derogatory

    Well in that case it's more of a pet name like "you silly goose", but I do recommend that you continue to smack that ***.
     
  16. Aug 4, 2009 #15
    Re: "Nerdy" as derogatory

    Nerd can be thought of as antisocial
    Geek is someone who is very passionate/knowledgeable in non-socially acceptable areas.

    For instance, all of us can probably rightfully be called Physics Geeks. :D
    But are not necessarily nerds or dorks. Although I myself am probably a bit of a nerd as well.
     
  17. Aug 4, 2009 #16
    Re: "Nerdy" as derogatory

    Nerd is sort of like the n-word. Yeah, it used to be derogatory, but now it's "our word". It's ok if you call me that.
     
  18. Aug 4, 2009 #17
    Re: "Nerdy" as derogatory



    i am one of those people, i got straight A's in math courses etc... B's in english etc.. but when it comes to talking in a crowd i am... pretyy much crap as i am so shy. and same with girls i lack social skills needed to speak with them but what can i say i'm nervous also street smarts i have some street smarts if i was to live like a bum
     
  19. Aug 4, 2009 #18
    Re: "Nerdy" as derogatory

    Same here. I find the best thing to do though if you are one of those people is to just embrace your inner nerd / geek.
    So even though others may see "nerd" as derogatory, I would be proud to be called one.
     
  20. Aug 4, 2009 #19
    Re: "Nerdy" as derogatory

    What would physics be without nerds?
     
  21. Aug 4, 2009 #20
    Re: "Nerdy" as derogatory

    I think the thread has been joking about nerds so far
     
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