Skepchick Quickies 12.22


Amanda works in healthcare, is a loudmouthed feminist, and proud supporter of the Oxford comma.

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  1. With the terms ‘geek’ and ‘nerd’ becoming increasingly embraced by the tech-savvy set, many of whom are posers who used them as derogatorily terms in my youth and are now identifying with them, I find it odd that there’s even any consideration of banning these words. We’ve payed our dues. Nerd pride belongs to us. Not just anyone with a Twitter account.

    Anderegg can get back to me when we’ve convinced X-Box Live wankers to stop using ‘gay’ as a negative adverb.

  2. Oh come the fuck on. While they aren’t (always) nice things to say — and it really depends on context, how you say it, and who you say it to — to compare it to “racial epithets” is ridiculous and just undermines the problem of racism.

    I really hate when people compare shit that is not at all comparable.

    Last I checked, nerds and geeks didn’t go through centuries of oppression, and that doesn’t even get close to touching the issue of racism. But hey, what do I know.

  3. @Peregrine:

    Anderegg can get back to me when we’ve convinced X-Box Live wankers to stop using ‘gay’ as a negative adverb.

    Now *that* is something he should be encouraging people to stop saying. Since, you know, GAY PEOPLE ARE ACTUALLY OPRESSED.

    But of course he isn’t. It’s “nerds” and “geeks”.

    *eye roll*

  4. Geek and proud.

    Banning words is like banning ideas or banning books. It’s a bad idea. You can encourage people to use language in a way that’s not hurtful but telling someone not to use a word helps no one.

  5. re: ‘Nerd’ and ‘Geek’ Should Be Banned… did it ever occur to this guy that we WANT to be avoided by most people? that, for some of us, perhaps this isn’t something that society has inflicted upon us, but perhaps something that some of us prefer that has just been associated with things we associate ourselves with? i am forced to deal with enough norms on my day to day basis without some sort of unbearable optional social interactive situations. i think i avoid people who want me to ‘hook up their printer’ more than any of them avoid me. besides, hanging around with them is how you catch the stupid and end up a republican or a christian something, i’m pretty sure. at least that’s what my cousin rob says.

  6. I’m proud of being a geek, I’m proud of being a nerd, and I love my geeky-nerdy girlfriend.

    Whatever your interest is, you’re a geek about it. My discussions on comics are just as boring to a Sports Geek as his retelling of a game is to me. There’s no difference beyond subject.

    Geeks rule the world right now. You wanna do anything remotely cool or trendy? Thank a geek. I think this guy’s got it backwards. If you want a job at a hip up and coming company that’s actually changing the world, like Google or Apple, then you damn well better be a geek or a gerd.

    Bill Gates, total nerd. Rich beyond the dreams of avarice. Steve Jobs, total geek, just got named the best CEO in the world, and he’s changed the world more times than I can count.

    Geeks p0wnz the world now. We nerds got our revenge.

    This guy’s just a square.

  7. Wait, I thought “nerd” and “geek” had practically become the new black?*
    These days, I see them being self-applied and worn as a badge of honor rather than being used as a pejorative.

    We could call it bleek?

  8. There’s always someone flapping their gums about “Banning” words. How does that work, exactly? Is a societal consensus reached? Is it enforceable by law? What are the sentencing guidelines? I think all talk of banning words should be banned. Someone should make a law.

  9. Banning “nerd” and “geek” won’t serve any useful purpose. People will just assign a different word for the concept and that word will take on the connotations, positive and negative, of the original. And then some egghead will come along and try to get that word banned. And so on until people start doing global search and replace on old documents to keep up with the current terminology and next thing you know Comedy Central’s showing a rerun of “Revenge of the Persons with a Mild Social-Intellectual Imbalance Condition” with half the dialog bleeped out. Yeah, that’ll help.

  10. How is geek or nerd anything like racial epithets?

    Also <3 geeks and nerds! Am one. Love em. People who can't geek out about something are the lamest people. /yawn

    Gimme a geek any day. Please.

  11. My husband calls himself a “sports geek”. Which I find annoying. There’s no such thing as a “sports geek” you’re a jock. Get over it. Calling yourself a “sports geek” makes you look like an even bigger asshole.

    Liking something doesn’t make you a that thing geek.

  12. @Elyse:

    My husband calls himself a “sports geek”. Which I find annoying. There’s no such thing as a “sports geek” you’re a jock. Get over it. Calling yourself a “sports geek” makes you look like an even bigger asshole.

    Liking something doesn’t make you a that thing geek.

    To me geek implies an impressive amount of knowledge about and probably love of a subject. I’ll speculate the difference between a jock and a sports geek is a jock has ability but not necessarily knowledge whereas a sports geek has knowledge but not necessarily any ability.

  13. I’ll disagree with you, Elyse, but largely due to my idiosyncratic definitions of “nerd” and “geek”.

    “Nerds” tend to be highly involved in scholastic pursuits. Math Nerds. Science Nerds. History Nerds.

    “Geeks” tend to be highly involved in a intellectual but not scholastic pursuit. Star Trek Geeks. Fantasy geeks. D&D Geeks.

    There’s obviously some bleeding, here… band nerds may also be band geeks (the guy who learns three or four instruments and can play 2nd chair on any of them is probably a nerd; the chick who can figure out a clarinet part for Motley Crue is likely a geek). Star Trek Geeks may have general science nerdism. History nerds may go so far as to become geeks, once they start dressing the part and cooking the food as part of their regular diet.

    That brings us, however, to the sports geek. These are distinct from jocks in that their interest is primarily intellectual… while they may appreciate a well-played game, they don’t actually have any desire to play. They may memorize box scores, but they can’t catch a fly ball; their interest is intellectual, not physical. A jock will have played the game post-childhood, and usually have stories about the game; most will draw a degree of identity from it.

    Thus, a sports geek is the guy who can tell you tons of rules and trivia… but probably wouldn’t dream of playing a pick-up game.

  14. @Elyse: I disagree, as I said above there is no difference between types of geeks but subject. Sports geeks are people who geek out on sports, comic geeks (for example) are people who geek out on comics. Both kinds find the other’s conversations to be equally tiresome and boring.

    A geek is someone who is enthusiastic about a specific subject to the point of near obsession, and who can recite trivia, facts, and minutia that are often only interesting to others who share that fascination. They want to share their knowledge with others, and get them to share in their particular interest. To someone who is interested in neither sports nor comics, both kinds of geek are indistinguishably boring conversationalists.

    Jocks are actively athletes, and are probably sports geeks too. It’s not exclusive.

  15. @Mark Hall: For me the distinction between geek and nerd is one of social awkwardness. Nerds are generally socially less skilled, geeks can frequently blend in (until we get on a subject that we like, then we can slip right into nerdom).

  16. @Zapski: While I agree that there are geeks of many flavors I disagree that they are boring. I find someone who is very into whatever they are into and really passionate about it interesting. But that may just be me.

  17. @marilove: Last I checked, nerds and geeks didn’t go through centuries of oppression,


    The hell we didn’t. Ever heard of Galileo? Nerd. The cultural revolution? Also known as “Purge of the Nerds”.

    Wherever one or more jocks get together, a nerd gets oppressed.

    And they can have my nerd badge when they pry it from my encrypted smart phone.

  18. @sethmanapio: lmao. touche! i meant i want to be left alone by people who aren’t geeks like me. they say too many things that are distracting and just plain stupid. but bring on the hot, geeky chicks any day. commenter above, i’m looking in your direction ;)

  19. I wonder how old this professor is. I mean is “Return of the Nerds” his entire frame of reference and he’s never been on the tubez where happy and proud nerds and geeks are found in the wild?

    Without the appellations “nerd” and “geek” I wouldn’t have an identity at all.

  20. Ban “geek” and “nerd”?? This guy can’t be serious. After all we’ve done to reclaim these terms and make them at least somewhat cool?

    I wear my Geek with pride and honor, damnit! And like others have said, he can take my when he pries it from my cold, dead fingers!

  21. @Elyse: Sweetie, I’m hardly geeky.


    But you aren’t stupid, and you are hot. He’d be lucky. And he’d probably learn things.

    Terrible things. Things that would keep him awake in the dead of night, every tiny creak and sigh in the night air reviving the sandblasted ghost of his lost innocence.

    But still, things.

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