Are you a geek or a nerd? Most of us tend to use the words interchangeably and while I think that works, not everyone agrees. A post over at Slackpropagation takes the question and puts it to the test. The author states the terms are related but “capture different dimensions of an intense dedication to a subject.” They use these definitions:
geek – An enthusiast of a particular topic or field. Geeks are “collection” oriented, gathering facts and mementos related to their subject of interest. They are obsessed with the newest, coolest, trendiest things that their subject has to offer.
nerd – A studious intellectual, although again of a particular topic or field. Nerds are “achievement” oriented, and focus their efforts on acquiring knowledge and skill over trivia and memorabilia.
The post goes on to provide evidence of this contrast including collecting information from tweets:
I analyzed two sources of Twitter data, since it’s readily available and pretty geeky/nerdy to boot. This includes a background corpus of 2.6 million tweets via the streaming API from between December 6, 2012, and January 3, 2013. I also sampled tweets via the search API matching the query terms “geek” and “nerd” during the same time period (38.8k and 30.6k total, respectively).
Then he or she applied a statistic to measure how much company two words tend to keep with one another. It measures correlation. The above graph shows the results. The scatterplot contains “various words according to their PMI scores for both “geek” and “nerd” on different axes (ignoring words with negative PMI, and treating #hashtags as distinct).”
I love the amount of thought and detail put into this analysis and recommend reading more at Slack Prop. Keep in mind though, while it’s fun to hash out nerd vs geek don’t limit yourself to labels. Love what you love, like what you like.