When you see someone characterize someone else as a nerd, what do you generally think about this person, what if this same person is characterized as a geek? Most people generally hold a negative connotation with one of these titles, some see it as the geek and some see it as the nerds. Oscar De Leon and Yunior from Juinot Diaz’s The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao can be classified as members of either of these groups in some ways. There are ways that they fit in and ways that they don’t but first, in order to see how Oscar and Yunior fit into the geek or nerd classifications or not the criteria must be defined.
Everyone treats the titles of a geek and a nerd as objective but, looking deep enough one should be able to find a subjective and definite definition. These can be found by looking into some dictionaries the article as the author tries to do in, “Nerd, Geek, Dweeb, Twerp — In Computer Lingo, Which One Are You?” in Community College Week by Reid Goldsborough. He finds that many of these definitions do not agree and looks to see if there is a definite answer and makes an attempt to find a modernized answer.
According to its first definition of the word, a nerd is a "foolish or contemptible person who lacks social skills or is boringly studious." That sounds about right. But Oxford's first definition of geek is synonymous: "An unfashionable or socially inept person." Oxford's second definitions of both words are also synonymous, nerd as "an intelligent, single-minded expert in a particular technical discipline or profession" and geek as "a person with an eccentric devotion to a particular interest. (Goldsborough, 2010)
This generally could be considered to mean that the terms of geeks and nerds are completely and utterly synonymous but, people in the modern nerd and geek culture may disagree. If one mentioned this definition to a person who considers themselves a geek or nerd they would highly disagree because, these people know that there is a great difference between a nerd and a geek; while they may not be able to give a distinct, concise definition they know full well that there is a big difference. This is expressed in the Goldsborough article as well.
The best distinction I've heard is that the word "nerd" connotes social awkwardness while "geek" conveys specialized expertise and devotion. The former is negative, the latter positive. In a 2007 interview on The Colbert Report, author Richard Clarke said the difference between nerds and geeks is "geeks get it done." (Goldsborough, 2010)
These are both well stated definitions of nerd and geek; they provide a modern view of the terms alongside a modern definition of them. It can be generally assumed from the provided definitions that nerds are social outcasts and geeks, while being on the boarder of being social outcasts, manage to still be able to make friends and do their job fairly well. There are also some other thoughts inside being a nerd and a geek that these...