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Difference between a Geek, a Nerd, and a Dork

Difference between a Geek, a Nerd, and a Dork

October 8, 2009
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The English language has a great capacity for ambiguity. Among words with similar meanings, working in the computer industry brings to mind the words “geek,” “nerd,” and “dork.” Most people would not differentiate between the three, but what I can tell after four years of studying computer science at UTA is that “geeks” and “nerds” are slightly different and tend to have a positive connotation whereas a “dork” tends to have a negative connotation.

From my exploits in the computer world, I have found that a “geek” tends to have an interest in subjects of academic or technical importance. A “nerd’s” interest seems to be more trivial, like knowing every line in every “Star Wars” movie. That being said, I believe a geek tends to have a higher intellect than a nerd and more specialized skills. I might go as far to say that a nerd is a geek, but without skills.

Geeks usually choose their concentration over conformity while a nerd chooses his obsession over conformity. A dork is described in the dictionary as someone that is stupid or ridiculous. In high school, if someone called you a dork, you need to check yourself and possibly buy some deodorant. However, if they call you a geek or a nerd, more than likely one day they will be working for you. The truth of the matter is that I consider myself all three and I am proud of it!

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