Nerd is not a dirty word

Yesterday I went to Cedar Point with a friend of mine from the bowling alley that I work at.  For those who don’t know, Cedar Point is considered one of the best amusement parks in the country with some of the best roller coasters and other rides that you’ll find anywhere.  Anyway, while there, we went on the ride called The Maverick which was added to the park in 2007.  While we were on the ride, I noticed something that a lot of other people might not notice.  In the middle of the track at several locations are metal plates sticking up from the track.  While these are obscure and don’t appear on many coasters, I recognized exactly what they were, the propulsion system for Maverick.

I saw this several years ago when watching some random show on the History Channel.  They were talking about the technology in roller coasters.  The way that many older coasters worked was by using a chain to pull the car up to the highest point of the ride from which you are dropped to get the speed that you need to go through the rest of the ride.  While this was the first method of getting coasters to run, it is far from the only way.  Some coasters can use air pressure to get you moving quickly, but this one is the most amazing to a nerd like me.  The way that this coaster works is by using electromagnets and quickly flipping the polarity at different points in the magnet chain as well as the cart that you’re in to propel you forward.  As soon as I realized that was what the ride was doing I think I realized that it was the coolest ride in the park, at least from a technological standpoint.

This led to a discussion that we had on the drive home, where I said I was a nerd and got yelled at by my friend as she assumed I was insulting myself.  To which I quickly replied that I don’t consider calling someone a nerd to be an insult.  Thinking about it more today, I decided to look up the definition of nerd on and it came up with the following definitions:

  1. a stupid, irritating, ineffectual, or unattractive person
  2. an intelligent but single-minded person obsessed with a nonsocial hobby or pursuit: i.e. a computer nerd
Personally I think the second definition as closer to my archetypal definition of a nerd.  But I can see where someone might think about the other one.  Anyway, during our drive home, I made my case that being a nerd is not a bad thing.  Think about, nerds are some of the most successful people in the world.  As a quick example, lets make a comparison between a highly successful nerd and a highly successful athlete (this idea is stolen from an email I received years ago).  Bill Gates current Net Worth is somewhere in the vicinity of $56 Billion.  By comparison, Tiger Woods Net Worth was considered to be around $600 Million.  Doing some quick math, Bill Gates is worth over 93 times what Tiger Woods is.  Conclusion, Nerd Wins.
I enjoy sports as much as the next guy, but lets face it, nerds have a much larger impact on society as a whole, and generally make more money than your average jock.  I’m proud to say that I’m a nerd, and more than willing to admit it.  So here goes, a list of nerd qualifications for myself:
  1. I never skipped classes while going to college, I might have missed one or two classes because I was sick, but never because I just didn’t want to go.
  2. I own several business-related books and was not a business major in college, but simply because a friend suggested I could gain something from them.
  3. I enjoy watching Jeopardy and get angry when I don’t know the answer to a question on the show.
  4. For one of my classes I went to a museum of Jewish Heritage, and enjoyed myself and learned a lot.
  5. I read, a lot.  Beyond that, I read actual books, I don’t use a Kindle or any other E-Reader, I read actual books.  I have an E-Reader that I got for Christmas that is currently collecting dust.
Lastly, while I’m not putting it on the list, while compiling this blog post I’m watching Pawn Stars on the History Channel and grinding for a rare item on Final Fantasy 4 for my PSP (thanks to auto-battle).
Maybe when you’re still in school being called a nerd might be an insult, but once you’re an adult and you realize that nerds really rule the world, it can be considered a great compliment.
So the real question for everyone is, is calling someone a Nerd an insult, or a compliment?
I vote compliment.
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  1. Hi,

    If I called someone a nerd it is usually in jest. Most of the times I call them geeks. Which they are. Would I be insulted if I was called a nerd. No.

    Am I a nerd? No. Not a geek either.

  2. Adam, I think you might be a nerdfighter! If you’re not familiar with the vlogbrothers, but they’re two brothers who made videos back and forth every day during 2007, and from that exchange, a whole Internet community of nerdy people came together! Check this out:

    Thanks for stopping by my blog, by the way. 🙂

  3. hannahrose42

     /  November 28, 2011

    I am a proud nerd. I read books… so many books. I play video games for many hours on many occasions. I can easily finish shorter RPGs in one sitting (Fable, Bioshock 2, etc.) I watch a ridiculous amount of films — I love foreign films, especially German ones. This includes dramas/fictional stories and historical films. I adore documentaries. I love anime, which I watch more regularly than any live tv show on today.
    I don’t skip class, I do well on tests and in school in general. I really enjoy learning via discussion based on anything — I used to watch the history channel, but only find myself turning on the tv for The Walking Dead these days.
    I take ‘nerd’ as a compliment from people who know me. I don’t know what I’d do if I wasn’t — be bored all the time? I will never know as I plan to be an old granny nerd one day.


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