Mar 17


Nerd is such a broad term isn’t it? And like most broad terms and generalizations for a subset of people it can be very easy to paint the good members of the group with the same angry brush that is meant for the bad members. Lately I have been making it a routine to visit the local bookstore since it gets me out of the office and allows me to concentrate on my writing.

This past Saturday I was most unlucky to be in the vicinity of a loud group of obnoxious “nerds” who recited lines from Ice Age – snorting uncontrollably and making everyone pay for their jokes. I am sure that within their circle this was great fun, but for everyone else it was unbearable. Luckily I was saved by a pair of earbuds and a volume setting that worked.

Another time I was on my 3rd viewing of James Cameron’s Avatar when a bunch of these guys flowed in singing out loudly and shouting things that most adults would be embarrassed to admit they even know about. Still when the movie began they were respectable even though their behavior upon entrance made me think they would go black-folks-in-a-horror-movie on me.

So it makes me wonder about those cute girls who wear the “I love nerds” t-shirts as if to bravely proclaim to the world, their acceptance of a normally rejected sub-culture. Do they wear it because they happen to date a guy that likes nerdy things, or do they really love nerds for better or for worse? What about the REAL nerds, the guys that table-top game, LARP, and cosplay? Are you bragging to the world that you’d date a nerd, or just a pretend-nerd playing dress-up?

The Word Nerd Was Never Meant To Be Positive

Here’s a fun fact from an IT guy…  Nerds are best taken in singles; mix in a couple and you have a collective of social awkwardness that could potentially embarrass you if behaving the part of the grown-up matters to you. If your guy stays “regular” whenever he’s congregated with his kind, then you probably shouldn’t be calling him a nerd.

The word nerd is meant to be derogatory – it literally means socially inept ie: being completely out of place in public. I love nerdy things, love to talk and discuss nerdy things, but I sometimes abhor nerds, with extreme full on prejudice. See I’m not a fan of selfishly loud people and one day it can be loud, poser douchebags making noise in the gym and another day it can be a nest of Bronies yucking it up. We can’t levy “Nerd” on an entire group for this very reason.

So when you are teasing your boyfriend for going on and on about how great a game company is or a sci-fi movie series, watch the name-calling. He truly may not be a nerd, especially not the extreme right side of obnoxious, low hygiene and selfish side of the sub-culture. Do you love nerds?

Rewritten on 6/4/2013

See some words or phrases that you don't understand? Check out The Dragon's Lexicon.
  • what about a geek? is “geek” okay to throw at him?

    • Geek refers to somebody who is really, really into something to where it’s damn near obsessive. You have sports geeks who can rifle off stats, plays, players, historical facts about the Boston Celtics etc. etc. A geek takes a subject and goes into it a tad too much. So if your man is really, really into a subject or two then geek is appropriate. Geek isn’t necessarily negative, just look at Best Buy who chose to brand the title to their computer people. The Marksman is a geek.

  • Jack

    I’m a completely socially inept loser, I also pretty much abhor “nerds”, so what you said offended me a bit. Being completely socially inept also means I have no friends, I consider myself closer to a dork though. I agree with what most of this article is saying though, girls need to stop saying “I love nerds”, that’s just wrong.

  • I dislike the ‘I love nerds’ t-shirts. I always have. Though I have never had the misfortune to be around a group of nerds as you describe, (well, maybe one guy like that, but not in a group.) I just hate them because they just seem to be poking fun at the socially inept people that consider themselves ‘geeks, nerds or dorks’ and it’s horrible. That’s how I take those kinds of shirts, anyway, maybe I’m looking too much into it.

    But it is a good question, WOULD they date those kinds of people?

  • antijock

    waht an idiotic hatred article. i fell pity of you.

    • You know, you’re 100% right I must have been in a bad, bad spot when I originally wrote this. I’ve rewritten it to show more of the humor that I was going for instead of full on angry blogger.