A Nerd by Any Other Name…

Like all good observations this one comes from a random background story.  I was trying to write a thank-you email for a job interview and I wanted to reiterate how my “nerdy” tendencies would make me a great librarian.  I knew “nerdy” would not be an appropriate professional word, so I used the thesaurus to find a better term.  Turns out there is no better term because “nerdy” does not mean what I always thought it had.

I always thought it meant someone very intelligent and knowledgeable and simply lacking social skills.  The negative connotation always came from the fact that people were jealous of a nerd’s intellect.  According to the thesaurus, however, “nerdy” means almost the exact opposite.  It means someone/thing tasteless, foolish or imbecile, a buffoon.  The negative connotation should actually be placed in the fact that “nerdy” is something not to be taken to seriously.  I suspect the only person who may have known this was Shakespeare, for he always made The Fool his wisest character.

I only share this with you because I have always considered myself a bit of a grammar nazi and I hate when people misuse the word “ironic”.  Now I will hate when people misuse the word “nerd”.

See for yourself: NERDY in a thesaurus

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