Are you a geek, or are you a nerd? Here's your chance to find out.

There are many confused lay people out there in today's modern world who are unhappily unaware of the difference between geeks and nerds. Even more sadly, there are also many geeks and nerds who do not know of the true nature of their own stereotype. This guide can be used to differenciate quickly and accurately between these two social classes.

When dealing with geeks and nerds, it is often handy to have a copy of the Jargon File available. The Jargon File is an extremely useful lexicon of geeky and nerdy terms, with easy to read explainations. The 'File has been the basis for much of the formal definitions put down in this document.

You should take care to not confuse the social classes geek and nerd with the entries of the same name on the Scale of Computer Proficiency. I guess will have to document that, one day as well.

If you have any suggesions as to how this document could be improved, please let me know. For the record, I call myself a geek.


From the Jargon File entry for "geek":

"A person who has chosen concentration rather than conformity; one who pursues skill (especially technical skill) and imagination, not mainstream social acceptance. Geeks usually have a strong case of neophilia. Most geeks are adept with computers and treat hacker as a term of respect, but not all are hackers themselves - and some who are in fact hackers normally call themselves geeks anyway, because they (quite properly) regard `hacker' as a label that should be bestowed by others rather than self-assumed."


From the Jargon File entry for "nerd":

"Pejorative applied to anyone with an above-average IQ and few gifts at small talk and ordinary social rituals."

Apologies and disclaimers

Okay, this page is the net (no pun intended) result of a pretty damm poor effort. One day, I'll do it properly, and you'll know because this section won't be here anymore.

The "please don't hurt me" clause: Text from the Jargon File used without permission. I hereby promise to replace the above excerpts form the Jargon File with my own work as soon as time and creativity permits.