So I'm trying to nail this down, because I've always been a bit confused, but I always liked to be the guy who came up with these sorts of things. The problem is I don't think there will ever be a real consensus. Before I begin, I want to be clear that I am not writing this to be mean. I'm actually trying to figure out exactly where I stand on this whole thing.
Had a conversation this morning about the guy who runs Trivia at my local bar every Monday. To me, he is a nerd: book smart, awkward, possibly lives in his Mom's basement. However, maybe he's a geek. Or perhaps even a dork. So, since we had so much to do at work this morning, we tried to figure out what was what.
From Dictionary.com :
1. a stupid, irritating, ineffectual, or unattractive person.
2. an intelligent but single-minded person obsessed with a nonsocial hobby or pursuit: a computer nerd.
Doesn't sound like me. At least the "unattractive" part. Don't let the fact that I'm going to Comic-Con fool you. I'm not obsessed with it, even though it is kind of a non-social hobby.
1. a peculiar or otherwise dislikable person, esp. one who is perceived to be overly intellectual.
2. a computer expert or enthusiast (a term of pride as self-reference, but often considered offensive when used by outsiders.)
3. a carnival performer who performs sensationally morbid or disgusting acts, as biting off the head of a live chicken.
Doesn't sound like me, either. I'm certainly not overly-intellectual, and hopefully not too dislikable. And I've never bitten the head off a chicken. I like chicken, but...
1. a stupid or ridiculous person; jerk; nerd.
2. Vulgar. penis.
Closer, maybe. But here they are now adding "nerd" in with "dork," like they are the same. I don't think they are because a dork seems less irritating and ineffectual. (As an aside, I do like that someone who works on computers fell into two definitions.) I'm pretty sure I'm not a penis, however.
I actually liked the Thesaurus definition of nerd better:
One deficient in judgment and good sense.
ass, idiot, imbecile, jackass, mooncalf, moron, nincompoop, ninny, nitwit, simple, simpleton, softhead, tomfool, nerd
I don't know what a mooncalf is, but that's hilarious. And I've heard of "tomfoolery," but never a "tomfool," so now I have a new word to call people I dislike. "Geek" or "dork" weren't on there. Guess they speak for themselves.
So, what have we proven today? I have no idea, except that maybe more than any of them, I may be a dork. Or maybe just a loser for even caring. Or perhaps mooncalf.
I will now open it up to the floor. Any thoughts, gentle readers?