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Everything Geeky: The Meaning Of 'Geek' & How It's Misconstrued

Dee Doyle Dee Doyle
June 2nd, 2009 1:17pm EDT
A geek on The Big Bang TheoryWelcome to "Everything Geeky," a brand new regular column on Starpulse.com. Now I've been branded a geek my entire life after growing up in a comic book store and focusing more energy on the X-Men than American History.

First and foremost what we all have to realize is one simple truth: we're all geeks. The definition of geek has changed a lot over the years, but these days it seems to be a person who is overly obsessed with a subject or hobby. Now that does traditionally extend to things like computers, fantasy, and sci-fi, but believe it or not, a football fan who obsesses over the details of every play is a big old sports geek.

If you can love music more than breathing, you might just be a music geek, and if you can spend hours discussing the themes of your favorite movie, well, you're a movie geek. Theater geeks, computer geeks, art geeks, literary geeks - they are all the same thing with only a subject change in obsession.

Geekdom is all about taking love of a hobby or interest to a new level, one that might not exactly be healthy or recognized as sane by the mainstream, but love nevertheless. Can you gush about Lost and the smoke monster for hours at a time, or how about following everything that Taylor Swift does with a singleminded passion? Embrace your Geekdom, everyone!

BILL GATES


Bill Gates


Image © Insidefoto / PR Photos



Now, a common misconception is what makes a person a "geek," a "nerd," or a "dork." This all depends on the person and the definition you're using for them, but generally what separates a nerd from a geek is that they love learning just for the sake of learning. Geeks do tend to focus on subjects that they love, but not all across the board; nerds enjoy intellectualism, education, and waving their hands wildly at the front of the class. I proudly hold the nerd badge as well. A dork, however, is commonly the person who is awkward, socially inept, quirky, and well meaning. A nerd can be a geek and a dork, or a dork can be a nerd and a geek. Steve Urkel was a dorky nerdy geek, and he's one of the funniest and most beloved characters on television. Coincidence, I think not!

STAR TREK


Star Trek


Image © Paramount Pictures



Geeks have really grown over the years, not just in terms of how we perceive ourselves but how the world perceives us too. While it might have once been an insult, it can hardly be insulting anymore when a person like Bill Gates is a multi-millionaire, or how Rock Band sells wildly to all ages and backgrounds. Look at how successful Star Trek has been, or how comic book movies are now breaking records left and right because everyone loves them, not just the geeks.

Geeks shall inherit the earth, and so we have, but it has been a slow and subtle takeover. Now everyone is obsessed with technology, with their Blackberries and iPhones, and the digital age is without a doubt the age of the geek. Shows like "Beauty and the Geek" and "The Big Bang Theory" are whole heartedly embraced and beloved. Why fight it? Pick up your favorite hip geeky t-shirt at thinkgeek.com and join the party already in progress.

BEAUTY & THE GEEK


Beauty and the Geek


Image © The CW Television Network



This column may focus on a little more traditional geekdoms, such as video games, comic books, pop culture movies and TV, and electronics, but you can always comment with your own favorite geeky hobbies and suggest ideas for the future. We'll talk nerdy to one another and come out with only the best binary. Get it? Got it? Good. Then bring on the geek speak!

Read Dee's next Everything Geeky installment, "The E3 Breakdown"

Dee Doyle
Story by Chelsea 'Dee' Doyle

Starpulse contributing writer