I have been wanting to write about this for some time now. For some reason, everyone thinks these terms are interchangeable and derogatory. Nothing could be further from the truth. I tend to describe it like this. When you are trying to determine if you are dealing with a Geek or a Nerd the test is fairly simple. A geek tends to be an enthusiast (for example a “Star Trek Geek” can remember different characters or plot lines, a “Star Trek Nerd” can speak in Klingon. Geeks tend to have a variety of interests where as Geeks tend to focus on a handful, and take them to the next level. Another example would be the computer geek. They are the people you call when your computer is acting weird, and they can usually talk you through fixing whatever the problem is. The computer geek can do the same thing, but 90% of the time you won’t have a clue what they are talking about.
I tend to think of myself as primarily a geek. I have many interests, and the things that interest me, computers, sports, video editing. Unfortunately I am not a nerd, in any of these. It’s like the old saying “Jack of all trades, master of none.” Not that is a bad thing. There are times when a nerd will be so focused on one thing, they can’t talk about anything else.
While most schools still glorify the athletic,while the geeks/nerds are looked down upon and shunned, the truth is for 99% of the “jocks” that graduate collage, their skill set has pretty much run its coarse. Where as the guys that are Nerds or Geeks are just hitting their stride. It is in the “real world” that the Geek/Nerd is truly appreciated. Most will enter a career field geared to their interest, vs the “jock” who is asking “would you like fries with that?”
The bottom line: If someone calls you a Geek or a Nerd, wear that as a badge of honor. That means that odds are you are way better at something than they will EVER be.