This post is about the so-called nerd. We all know the stereotypes associated with the term “nerd” and its synonyms, such as, dweeb, geek, pimple-faced loser, et cetera. I’m sure most of you imagine some four-eyed nose picking D&D junkie when you hear the term. I propose that the general conception of the term “nerd” is incorrect, as I myself have been dubbed a nerd and do not have four-eyes or pimples.
Usually when I’m looking for the definition to a term I go to the dictionary. Dictionary.com gives the following definitions of nerd. First: a nerd is “a stupid, irritating, ineffectual, or unattractive person.” And second: a nerd is “an intelligent but single-minded person obsessed with a nonsocial hobby or pursuit: as in a computer nerd.” These definitions are wrong. For one, if I’m a nerd, then I ought to be stupid, ugly, irritating, et cetera. Those of you who know me also know that I’m an uber sexy beast. And I can’t be stupid cuz I’m super duper smart. And finally my wife, Heidi, will certainly tell you that I’m the least irritating person she knows.
The second definition comes a little closer to a correct conception of the term “nerd” but still falls short. This is because the definition narrows the class of persons who ought to be considered nerds. The term “nerd” ought to include a great many people. I think a proper definition of nerd is one who has an obsessive tendency to master an area of esoteric and potentially useless knowledge and acts out in furtherance of that knowledge. Considering the term nerd with this understanding means we are all potentially nerds my friends. Yes. All of us.
Here you might say, “Adam, I think you’re totally full of crap. I’m no nerd.” To this I say, “My friend, do you have some sort of semi-unhealthy obsession, not necessarily related to Star Wars, Dungeons and Dragons, Warhammer, Star Trek, Anime, space aliens, goblins, or anything stereotypically considered nerdy?” Invariably 99.35% of you will answer, “Hmmm, yeah, I’m totally into [fill in the blank].” Your obsession could likely be reality TV, or sports, or political news, or fashion design, or pretty much any area of potentially useless or esoteric knowledge. My wife, for one, is totally into being healthy and nutritious. Who gives a rip about that? Right? Well, she does and that’s okay.
Anyways, after considering my new and improved definition of nerd I invite you to look in the mirror and ask yourself, “Am I a nerd?” The self-realization that you are in fact a nerd will be traumatic, but it’s okay. Wipe those salty tears from your eyes my friend. Put your fist in the air and say, “Yes, I’m a nerd, and proud of it!” Then go back to your 40k game and roll your D6 and scatter dice for your deep striking terminator assault squad, may the Emperor protect them...