Geek? Nerd? Dork? Spaz? Which Are You?

What are we talking about, here? You mean, there’s slight differences? Let’s look first at the dictionary’s meanings (it never could conceptualize popular culture accurately).

Geek: 1. A computer expert or enthusiast (a term of pride as self-reference, but often considered offensive when used by outsiders.) 2. A peculiar or otherwise dislikable person, esp. one who is perceived to be overly intellectual. 3. A circus performer who bites the heads off of chickens.

Nerd: 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.

Dork: A stupid or ridiculous person; jerk; nerd.

Spaz: 1. A grotesquely awkward person. 2. An eccentric person.

Now, let’s take it down to street talk. Given the propensities you have today, which category would you insert yourself into given the more common concepts (below) of these categories? (BTW, don’t say you aren’t one of them, you read my blog)

Geek: A geek has a singular focus, whether it’s World of Warcraft, LARP’ing, computers, games. If you’re a geek, someone’s saying you have a focus of your weirdness and expertise. Some famous geeks include Bill Gates and Tony Hawk. The character of “Sheldon” on “Big Bang Theory” is a geek (although he cradles the "spaz" category as well).

Nerd: A nerd can be quite broad and general. A nerd is likely to possess the trivial knowledge that impresses folks. They remember the ratio of those with albino pigmentation to the general population or can speak intelligently in most arenas of topics. A nerd is well read. A nerd is serious about being smart across the board. He has something to say about every subject. If anyone’s listened to interviews with Steve Martin—he’s a nerd. The character of Fraser on TV was a nerd.

Dork: Uncomfortable in social situations and dresses for the wrong decade. He is superficially not quite like everyone else. There’s just something otherworldly (marching to another drummer) about him as if he thinks he’s from another time or place. A couple of celebrity dorks include Johnny Depp and the character of Howard on "Big Bang Theory."

Spaz: A spaz is like a dork on crack. He is likely to be so eccentric in his appearance that he looks like every day is a SciFi convention. He’s likely to be very klutzy and awkward in his own skin. He has trouble with any conversation and actually scares people off with his ability to draw strangers into a conversation about the technical merits of one cell phone compared to another while they’re standing in the aisle at Best Buy (when you didn’t ask for help). It’s real easy to think a spaz has a mental disorder. I’d put Joaquin Phoenix in the Spaz category as of late. I’d put Mel Gibson there actually because he’s not really lucid during conversations and he’s all over the place, but I think that’s just unmedicated bipolar disorder with mania.

I know you'll ask what I am. The thing I am the least of is a geek. Second least? Spaz (I call myself that, but that's because I'm spastic), I am second most a dork, but probably a nerd perhaps slightly more than a dork.


  1. autumnforest, WHAT??? i'm just so damn cool you would be bowing to me, saying "i'm not worthy!' if you met me. oh, that's in my head...i AM a legend in my own mind, i! no, mark me a spaz...

  2. Libby-Girl;
    A spaz, really? You strike me as a nerd--well read, know about a lot of things...

  3. ...well, i just said spaz, cuz one of my symptoms is spasticity...but, i guess i do know a little about a lot of things. (jack of all trades and master of none?), i guess i'm a nerd, cuz i'm ALWAYS, on the other hand are a master at ghost hunting, & i bow to you!

  4. Well, you're definitely right on me being a total nerd but I'd have to say I'm more geek than dork. I have an extreme love of all things tech and science. Plus I've actually always wanted to "LARP" in the monster world of White Wolf but like the writing thing, there doesn't seem to be anyone around here that does it. This was cool.

  5. Grim;
    You sound like me. Whenever I get to give a talk at a SciFi convention--I'm in heaven taking their crazy writing classes on writing erotica on other planets and sex on other planets. I also want desperately to do a zombie walk. I must admit, had I been a teen recently, I'd be LARP'ing. I love role playing, wearing costumes and being someone else. I always thought working for the renaissance festival would be fun and every year I eagerly attend the Highland Games to watch the huge men tossing phone poles and boulders and going to all the marketplace shops that sell swords and knives and ancient weapons with the bagpipes playing in the background.

  6. Yes, Ren-Fest is da bomb. Especially the smoked turkey drumsticks. Me + Food= NOM!


Post a Comment