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Are You a Geek or a Nerd?

Displaying poll results.
  6177 votes / 26%
  3163 votes / 13%
  3786 votes / 15%
  1199 votes / 5%
There's a difference?
  3555 votes / 15%
Stop trying to classify me!
  5814 votes / 24%
23694 total votes.
[ Voting Booth | Other Polls | Back Home ]
  • Don't complain about lack of options. You've got to pick a few when you do multiple choice. Those are the breaks.
  • Feel free to suggest poll ideas if you're feeling creative. I'd strongly suggest reading the past polls first.
  • This whole thing is wildly inaccurate. Rounding errors, ballot stuffers, dynamic IPs, firewalls. If you're using these numbers to do anything important, you're insane.
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Are You a Geek or a Nerd?

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 09, 2013 @01:59PM (#43953891)

    Hip vs Academic []

  • News for nerds? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by SgtKeeling (717065) on Sunday June 09, 2013 @02:09PM (#43953957) Journal
    The Slashdot tagline used to be: "News for Nerds, Stuff that Matters". I no longer see this on the front page, and it's not even in the page title. A conversation about what Slashdot is, what it used to be, and what it's becoming, notwithstanding, I would expect the 'Nerd' option to be the highest, as the site is (or at the very least, used to be) 'news for nerds'.
    • Re:News for nerds? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Beamboom (2692671) on Sunday June 09, 2013 @02:26PM (#43954071)
      I loved that tagline.
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      It's now "News for click-throughs" since being sold off.

    • by alexhs (877055)

      If you were a nerd, you would read Slashdot through the HTML source.
      Then you would see that it still is the title.
      Lynx works too, I just checked.

    • Re:News for nerds? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Linsaran (728833) on Sunday June 09, 2013 @10:20PM (#43957421) Homepage
      I didn't even notice it was gone, but that tagline used to define why I liked slashdot so much.
    • by rfolkker (443051)

      Actually, that is still the title of the homepage. It just seems that firefox overwrites the tag with the RSS object count.

      <title>Slashdot: News for nerds, stuff that matters</title>

      If you watch when the front page loads, the title appears briefly, and then is replaced by Slashdot (##).

      IE still shows the title, and I don't have Chrome or Safari installed, so I have no idea (nor do I actually care) how either of those react.

      I could care less about how IE reacts, but that POS is still installed,

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 09, 2013 @02:31PM (#43954117)
    Questions of this sort are of course best answered using a Venn diagram [].
  • -Dork -Dweeb ( although, come to think of it... what dork would ever self-qualify as a dork ? )
  • by locopuyo (1433631) on Sunday June 09, 2013 @02:50PM (#43954255) Homepage
    I am a sick nerd baller.
  • When I was a kid, I didn't fit in with any group. There were the jocks, the nerds, and a couple of other groups. It was fair to say that if there was a group of kids that fit into a group like that, I was more than likely getting beat up by them. Today, they call me a nerd, but I'm not. I've never been a nerd. You don't have to be a nerd to work in technology, or even write code. I'm just a normal guy with a family, trying to make a living.

    • I'll bet you thought for yourself and didn't sell out your opinions and soul to others.
    • by jimshatt (1002452)
      A group of one person is still a group. I used to want to belong to the group of zero persons. They didn't want me though, elitists!
  • Simply being good at your job and knowing your stuff neither makes you a geek or a nerd.

    People speaking in German call me a "Hacker" a lot, but they mean that in a sense that I can get difficult technical jobs done.

  • by mhotchin (791085) <slashdot AT hotchin DOT net> on Sunday June 09, 2013 @04:57PM (#43955035)

    The difference between a Geek and a Nerd is that a Geek knows the difference between a Geek and a Nerd.

  • by Moppusan (2837753) on Sunday June 09, 2013 @05:16PM (#43955163)
    A geek and a nerd are mostly the same. I've always thought nerds like learning for the sake of learning, and geeks obsess about certain topics and learn about those. Nerds are more introverted (like me) and geeks are more extroverted. Basically geeks are nerds that want to be socially accepted while nerds -- who still like positive attention -- don't expect social acceptance. Geeks have more friends, nerds have less. Actually geeks may have more acquaintances than close friends, while nerds have more close friends than acquaintances. I consider myself a nerd, if anyone wants to know "who in the hell typed that?" Okay, thank you for your time, please return to your regularly scheduled program already in progress.
    • by Krneki (1192201)

      I'm a geek and I politely disagree with your post. :)

      I never considered myself as a nerd, quite the opposite, I liked sports, car, bikes and hanging-out/drinking with my friends (both male and female). I used to be very good at mathematics, but the rest was a disaster, since I just didn't care. I managed to finish school not because I was good enough, but because teachers liked me, even if I was one of the most terrible students you could have (and I still don't understand why they liked me).

      But when I firs

      • by hazydave (96747)

        Mentioning Amiga (even the A500) definitely suggests some geek cred. I do think, in order to be a true geek, one must have a passion/obsession over at least some area of science or technology. Probably more than one... I've been known to "geek out" on many topics -- none more intensely than my Amigas.

        And in fact, it's near impossible to "geek out" over a topic without having social contact. Friends and drinks usually add to the fun. I don't see these as essential elements of nerdism.

        • by Krneki (1192201)

          Well, I kept it short but I'm fascinated about technology overall and what the future holds for us.

    • I think I'm an extroverted nerd. Geeks annoy me.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 09, 2013 @05:31PM (#43955295)

    Ozzy Osborne is a true geek.

  • by Nidi62 (1525137) on Sunday June 09, 2013 @07:13PM (#43956139)
    I have always argued that "nerd" does not apply to me because I played numerous competitive sports for over a decade, including football in college (as well as the rugby club for one semester). Geek might be closer since I was in AP classes in high school, have a degree in History, and consider historical monographs to be light pleasure reading.
  • by Pollux (102520)

    I've always seen geeks as individuals that are "supersaturated" with knowledge of a particular discipline. There can be math geeks, computer geeks, star trek geeks, movie geeks, car geeks, sports geeks... But just because one is a geek does not in-and-of-itself mean one is a nerd.

    Nerd is a title granted to individuals with two characteristics: high intelligence combined with a complete absence of social prowess. It's the latter trait that often distinguishes the geeks and the nerds. I've seen plenty of

  • Quit bothering me

  • by TWX (665546) on Sunday June 09, 2013 @10:01PM (#43957305)
    Geeks vs Nerds vs Dorks

    First, the subculture. Generally at some point in development, some individuals find themselves somewhat outcast from the group. These individuals often value things that aren't necessarily valued by the mainstream, things like knowledge for its own sake, or some cultural media that aren't necessarily accepted. These individuals often find themselves awkward in the beginning with those accepted by the mainstream. There are three major varieties in this subculture, the Geek, the Nerd, and the Dork. While disproportionately male, there are female members of the group, though for the purposes of this discussion the masculine will be used in describing them.

    The Nerd is the most common member of the group. He is technically intelligent and frequently likes cultural media that are not popular in the mainstream. He may have some issues with wardrobe or hygiene, possibly explaining his membership in this group in the first place. If the Nerd attends a mainstream function like a party, his is generally less comfortable in the situation. He does not have a lot of mainstream topics to talk about, and the same issues that he experienced putting him into this subculture will apply in this setting.

    The Geek is the pinnacle of the group. The Geek starts out as a Nerd in the fashion that most start out, but over time grows. Geeks have technical acumen, interests in many of the non-mainstream cultural aspects that Nerds have, but have grown out of being Nerds in that they have knowledge and interests beyond the subculture. They have generally sorted out their wardrobe and hygiene, and at the same party will be able to communicate with others in the mainstream without difficulty. The Geek may even be accepted by the mainstream again, but given his experiences in being marginalized to begin with will remember and usually won't fully embrace the mainstream.

    The Dork is the lowest member of the subculture. The Dork is the Me-tooer, the AOLer, of the group, having the worst characteristics without having the redeeming ones. Dorks generally lack technical acumen, and when they embrace cultural aspects either only have superficial knowledge or else have incredibly detailed knowledge about a such a narrow topic that they still have difficulty. As negatives, Dorks have the hygiene issues of the Nerd. In the same party above, the Dork will only be comfortable with the Nerd and the Geek, but the Nerd and the Geek will tire of the Dork before too long, given his lack of technical ability or interesting knowledge. While it's possible for Dorks to emerge into Nerds, it's less likely than Nerds progressing into Geeks.

    The almost-not-worth-mentioning category are those that are part of the maintream but fallaciously refer to themselves as Nerds or Geeks. Popular people that wax poetic about Apple products, saying, "I'm such a nerd/geek!" cause real Nerds and Geeks to cringe when they hear it. They are not accepting of the pretty person because the pretty person did not go through the issues that they had to deal with, and is thus nondeserving of the label; however negative it may have been, it was at least earned.

    By the way, I identify as a Geek. I experienced my own issues in junior high and high school and embraced the subculture. I BBSed, used Fidonet, migrated to Usenet and IRC, and played in highly technical circles, with computers, electronics, ham radio, and the like. Eventually I widened out to auto restoration, dance, and other mainstream hobbies that give me something to talk about with non-Geeks and non-Nerds. I know that I can rely on my abilities when I need them, but I do not feel the need to always pursue things for their own sakes. I do not look down upon those who do, because I once was like that. I do value knowledge for its own sake, though I understand that I may be pushing harder and harder for knowledge that won't serve a purpose, and I may choose to spend my time another way.
    • by toygeek (473120)

      The most well written comparison I've seen yet. Did you write this yourself? If not, source? Thanks :-)

      • Own work, based on thinking about HS Comp Sci and the fandom scene in greater PHX. Specifically on the Dork category, there was one in the class. Played Quake with us with the screen name "Vader" and usually died with negative frags.
    • Good analysis but the poster was perhaps too well mannered to mention the indelicate fact that Geeks also bite off the heads of live chickens every once in a while. All others are wannabe Geeks.

      • by hazydave (96747)

        Different, arcane meaning of the word. Not relevant for decades. Why do all you dweebs keep bringing it up?

        • Different, arcane meaning of the word. Not relevant for decades. Why do all you dweebs keep bringing it up?

          Because I've been using it for a very long time, most likely well before you were born.

          BTW don't the TOS for this site forbid an hominem attacks?

    • by jbengt (874751)
      Reading through the posts, people are using a lot of differing definitions for these terms, so, outside of particular contexts, they are probably not very informative terms. Nevertheless,
      personally, I know I'm a nerd, because I have 4 different colored pens in my shirt pocket. (Though I guess, if I were a classic nerd, I would have a pocket protector, which I don't own.) In my teen years, I was sort of a combination of Freak and Nerd, and I also played sports well (mostly basketball, though I was too sh
    • by Carewolf (581105)

      A geek is a circus performer specializing in performing gross tasks to make the audience gag. There you go. That is the official definition, thank you for self-identifying.

    • Geeks vs Nerds vs Dorks

      Not completely wrong, but pretty darn close.

      Nerd - someone who gets high grades in school and reads a lot, scholastically bright, generally a private person
      Geek - someone who likes that which is not in the mainstream, they form tight communities around their interests, reduced interest in those outside the community
      Dork - person with no social skills

    • by mjwx (966435)

      Geeks vs Nerds vs Dorks

      In short.

      A Geek likes, builds and understand really cool stuff.
      A Nerd likes and builds really cool stuff.
      A Dork like really cool stuff.

  • by EmperorOfCanada (1332175) on Monday June 10, 2013 @12:08AM (#43957961)
    I so very much hate the term boffin. It just tastes of layer after layer of put down. It is a word spoken by people who can't do and are threatened by those who can and thus put them down to try and establish their own self worth.
    • I've reclaimed the word 'Boffin'. I've discretely placed it at the end of my job title in my email sig. If someone introduces me as a boffin I affirm clearly something like: " I am a Boffin, how may I help?" I make sure I capitalise the 'B' in my voice.

      Get the boffin in before them and they have no where to go with it.

  • Which one do I pick if I feel that the only valid answers to the question are "true" and "false"?
  • I guess I'm an black metal hipster hippie oldfag geek nerd then.

    Or Just a G.O.A.T, Geek of all Trades.

    Sometimes terms are meaningless.

  • Not sure... (Score:5, Funny)

    by Stolpskott (2422670) on Monday June 10, 2013 @06:39AM (#43959453)

    A while ago, I started trying to decide if I was a geeky nerd or a nerdy geek. It turned into an internal debate that was about as entertaining as watching paint dry, and reminded me of a story I read somewhere (might have been /., but I don't think so, and I am too lazy to search now).

    A man sits in his chair watching his dog spinning in circles, then the dog sits down and spends 10 minutes licking his (the dog's) balls. The man thinks to himself "wow, my dog is easily entertained - he is happy spending 10 minutes licking his balls... he must be really stupid". Then he thinks "crap, I have kept myself entertained for the last 10 minutes watching my dog lick his balls. I must be really really stupid".

  • The British-English term for those with a tremendous depth of knowledge on a subject often uninteresting to those around them, and an endless willingness to share said knowlege (i.e., a knowlege of relatively obscure terminology).

  • I'm the guy who gets to clean up the mess left by geeks and nerds who try to show off using the latest and greatest technology but which doesn't allow people to get their work done.

    It gets very tiresome hearing, "It's new and cutting edge! It's great!" then asking them, "But people can't get their work done."

    "Yeah, so? It's cutting edge!"

    • by geekoid (135745)

      "I'm the guy who gets to clean up the mess left by geeks and nerds who try to show off using the latest and greatest technology but which doesn't allow people to get their work done."
      Nothing there describe nerd.

  • by Bigbutt (65939) on Monday June 10, 2013 @10:33AM (#43961481) Homepage Journal

    It's been a while so I had to make a few updates but here's my old Geek Code:

        Version: 3.1
    GIT d-- s+:+ a++ C++++ UB++++$ UL++++$ UH++++$ US++++$ U*++++$
    P++ L+++ E--- W+++ N++ !o K w+ O M++ V PS+ PE Y+ PGP++ t++ 5 X++
    R+++ tv+ b++++ DI++++ D++ G++ e h+@ r+++(%) r+++(%) y++++(--)
    ------END GEEK CODE BLOCK------


  • Nerd is another one of those names given us who actually *know* something by the "Popular Kids" in school, who don't believe in actually learning something that requires thinking, like the nobility of the middle ages: "read? I have clerks to do that"

    Geek... no, because I know where the word comes from: it referred to the usually retarded guys who worked in carnivals, in the side/freak show, usually billed as The Wild Man of Borneo or some such, who'd literally bite the heads off live chickens.

    Now, Newt Ging

    • by geekoid (135745)

      Geek is what you call people who do things on the edge of society. Adults that read comics in the 60's and 70s , yes. Enjoying comics todaqy? no.

      Going to see Iron man or the avengers? no, hat just makes you a person who likes good action movies.

      "But the words that were invented as denigrating, "
      no, it wasn't.

      Nerd is an animal in a Zoo. I mean, if you are only going to consider it's origin then you are saying you should be locked up in a cage.

  • This applies to people who read National Lampoon in the 70's. []

    Of course, I never understood why the approximation of Pi was so far off. I assume it's because this was from the end of the slide-rule era.
  • Geeks memorize things: baseball starting line ups, programming languages, all the dialogue in Star Wars, etc.
    Nerds like fantasy, sci-fi, and anything that lets them escape reality and themselves. So why Pokemon instead of peyote? I don't know.
    You can be both, either, or neither.
  • As seen here. []

    It's good to be the king...

  • Ahh In Unix times (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Coeurderoy (717228) on Tuesday June 11, 2013 @08:07AM (#43971439)

    No self respecting guru would accept anything less than being a


    Only Wizards know how to reach out and grep someone !

MATH AND ALCOHOL DON'T MIX! Please, don't drink and derive. Mathematicians Against Drunk Deriving


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