With the Calgary Comic & Entertainment Expo around the corner, it’s well past time you freshened up your nerdy nomenclature. There are so many delirium-inducing dweebs in this year’s line-up of guests, so it’ll be important for you to tell them apart. Whether it’s a nerd, geek, dork or dweeb, each group displays varying degrees of three primary attributes. Sounding similar to how your last Dungeons & Dragons character was described? Good. I’d hate for you to be in unfamiliar territory. Intelligence, obsession and social ineptitude provide the axioms with which we define the nerd genera. Each subspecies achieves differentiation from the other by virtue of which characteristic most accurately describe it.
Perhaps the most common term in our contemporary vernacular, and subsequently the most commonly abused, a nerd is the poster child of all the majestic dysfunction, passion and peculiarity that comes along with being a part of this subculture. Intelligent, obsessed and socially awkward, nerds have it all in equal parts. Let’s be clear, however: you’re not a nerd if you sat down to watch the HBO hit, Game of Thrones, and you occasionally don’t feel like going out on a Friday night. You’re not a nerd if you once stopped in at Games Workshop to look at all the cute toys. You’re a nerd if you spent your weekend rebooting the 1980 Vic-20 you built from salvaged parts in order to play HAL Laboratory’s Radar Rat Race.
Next we have geeks, who are characterized by intelligence and obsession. It’s not necessary that geeks be obsessed with Battlestar Galactica or Lord of the Rings. They can have an interest in almost any topic and can even hold a decent conversation about it! Dorks, on the other hand, will have an obsession with the most obscure and surreal realms. Fantasy and science fiction play host to these cave dwellers. As they are often unaware of their abrasive odour and uncouth social graces, dorks mean well, and so “they shall pass.”
Lastly, and certainly least, are dweebs. That is not to say that those who self identify as dweebs are unimportant, but rather given that we no longer live in the 1950s, the term “dweeb” rarely surfaces. For the sake of completeness, dweebs sit between intelligence and social ineptitude. No doubt this combination often leads dweebs towards absurd fortunes and lifelong success – have you ever seen The Social Network?
By Theron Swift