There are a lot of nerd-geek-dork pages on the internet. Examples can be found here, here, and at this page, where the differences between the three are illustrated with a venn diagram. These three terms are often used interchangeably, and quite erroneously, by the ignorant populars and other stupids who are just too cool use Wikipedia. Therefore, as someone who has never been cool and easily fits into all three categories (depending on the situation), I thought I’d try my hand at explaining the differences between the three.
As a service to all the cools, of course.
At the top of the hierarchy is the nerd. A nerd usually possesses a particular aptitude for engineering, science, or computer-related stuff. For example, a computer-type nerd knows everything about computers and can tell you what every single part of a computer does. He or she can build you a computer from the bottom up without looking at any instructions. Nerds can solve any engineering-related problem. Additionally, nerds are often highly educated and have remarkable memories. They have skills that are highly desirable, marketable, and bankable. Thus, many nerds are rich.
Somewhere in between the dork and nerd is the geek. One thing to keep in mind is that nerds can also be geeks, but not all geeks can be nerds. While a geek might possess an encyclopedic knowledge of Star Trek, as well as an extensive collection of Star Wars action figures, he’s usually unemployed and spends most of his time playing World of Warcraft and alphabetizing his collection of Dragonlance novels. His own knowledge is too obscure to be of any practical value, so when his computer crashes he has to seek out help from a nerd.
Finally, at the bottom of the pile are the pure dorks. A dork is someone who does not possess any skills whatsoever. He’s into stuff that even geeks would consider a bit too geeky. A typical dork might collect lunch boxes. He is so socially awkward that the only friends he has are other dorks. Napoleon Dynamite is often cited as an example of the typical dork, but I would argue that his sweet dance moves move him up into the geek category. Maybe even all the way up to nerd.
Until next time.