I’ve always considered myself something of a nerd, even back when being nerdy wasn’t cool. Nowadays, everyone thinks they’re a nerd. MGK recently noticed this:

Recently, I was surfing the net looking for lols, and came across a personal ad on Craigslist. The ad was not in and of itself hilarious, but one thing struck me. The writer described herself as “nerdy,” and as an example of her nerdiness, explained that she loved to watch Desperate Housewives.

My god, people, have we allowed “nerdy” to be defined down so greatly that watching Desperate Housewives – a top 20 Neilsen primetime soap opera with no actual nerd content per se – qualifies as “nerdy” now? That is just wrong. The nerdular act cannot be allowed to be so mainstream.

To address this situation, he has devised “a handy guide for people to define their own nerdiness, based on a number of nerdistic passions.” I’m a little surprised at how poorly I did in some of these categories.

  • BatmanNot Nerdy. When I think about it, it’s not that surprising. After all, I have never read any of the comic books, not even Year One or The Dark Knight Returns, which MGK specifically calls out later in his creteria as not being particularly nerdy. That said, I wonder how watching The Dark Knight 5 times (three times in the theater) in less than a year qualifies.
  • Star WarsSlightly Nerdy. Now this one is surprising. Sure, according to this guide, I’m nerdier about Star Wars than I am about Batman, but only a little. I suppose if he had loosened the criteria or chose a different random fact for the “nerdy” level, I could easily have reached that level, for I have had some experience with the “expanded universe” Star Wars novels. One other gripe is that no self-respecting nerd would defend the idea of Jar Jar Binks!
  • Harry Potter – Somwhere between Not Nerdy and Slightly Nerdy. I didn’t particularly love Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, and my dislike may disqualify me from the Slightly Nerdy level. On the other hand, I didn’t particularly hate the novel either, and I had no problem blowing through it rather quickly.
  • Magic: The GatheringSlightly Nerdy. I have to say that I didn’t play this game that much, but I really did enjoy it when I did. But it got way too complicated later on, and some people took it wayyy to seriously.
  • H.P. LovecraftDangerously Nerdy. Finally! Though I have to admit that I don’t qualify for three of the lesser levels… However, I have read several of his stories, which is apparently dangerously nerdy.
  • Nerd TelevisionDangerously Nerdy. Totally. The two shows I haven’t watched much of are the lowest ranked ones. I’ve seen a significant portion of the other ones, including The Adventures of Brisco County Jr. (at this point, even recognizing what Brisco County Jr. is, is probably nerdworthy).
  • Star Trek – I think I might be Fairly Nerdy here, otherwise I’m Not Nerdy. It’s just that I don’t actually remember which one Picard rode the dune buggy in. That probably disqualifies me. I do love TNG though. Could never get into any of the other spinoffs.
  • Computer UseNerdy. Potentially Really Nerdy, but there are definitely a couple of coding jokes in XKCD that I haven’t gotten (but I get a pretty good portion of them).

Again, I am a bit surprised at how non-nerdy I am. I mean, aside from a couple of dangerously nerdy subjects, I’m not very nerdy at all. How did you do?

2 thoughts on “Nerdy”

  1. Batman – Not Nerdy

    Star Wars – Not Nerdy

    Harry Potter – Slightly Nerdy

    Magic: The Gathering – Not Nerdy (or actually Negative Nerdy since I never played it nor wanted to)

    H.P. Lovecraft – Slightly Nerdy (but I’ve never read an entire work of his, so I don’t think I’m that nerdy in this regard)

    Nerd Television – Nerdy to Really Nerdy

    Star Trek – Not Nerdy or less

    Computer Use – I’m all over the place on this one. I get a lot of the xkcd coding jokes because my husband has explained in detail some of the work he does. But I haven’t dabbled in Linux at all, even though I’m interested (just not high on my priority list).

    I thought you would be nerdier too tallman, but I guess my definition of nerd has grown too broad. It is tossed around too much, but it’s relative for many people.

    My sister thinks I’m a nerd for being smarter than average, and especially for knowing math – algebra, geometry, trig, and calculus – even though I’m really rusty on a lot of that. She didn’t take those classes. I think she’s a nerd for getting deeply involved with Second Life, which holds zero interest for me.

  2. Nerd!

    Seriously, the words nerd, geek, and dork have changed a lot just in my lifetime. When I was younger, those were bad things to be. Not, not as much (though I suppose dork still holds the worst connotation of the three).

Comments are closed.