Back To Home Page

The Language of Nerds: It's Geek to Me

By V. Paul Virtucio
April 11, 2003 | Duluth News Tribune

You wanna go to the Geek Prom but you’re not sure what’s geek-in and what’s geek-out. So consult these geek glamour rules:

1. KEEP IT REAL. There’s nothing worse than a geek-wannabe, a try-hard or a poser. Let your natural geekiness shine through. If you’re more of a technical geek rather than a socially inept geek, don’t try to pass as Booger from the 1984 movie “Revenge of the Nerds.” Go as that teen geek, Wesley Crusher from “Star Trek: The Next Generation.”

2. GEEKS DON’T WEAR CLOTHES FROM GAP, J.CREW OR OLD NAVY. Those styles shout homogeneity. Geeks scream individuality by wearing things that nongeeks wouldn’t dare to wear. Break fashion rules by wearing plaid with stripes. If the fashion police say pink satin is the new black, go with green mesh. And there’s no such thing as too much polyester.

3. GEEKS MIGHT NOT FIT IN, BUT THEIR CLOTHES FIT PROPERLY. No baggy, oversized duds that resemble hip-hop urban looks. Nothing too tight or anatomically revealing. What attracts geeks is I.Q., not GQ. If a geek is in style, it’s an accident.

4. GEEKS GO CLUBBING. But that doesn’t mean you’ll find a posse at a nightclub. Geeks are proud of being in the math club or the debate club or even being a Boy Scout or Girl Scout. So dig deep into that jewelry box to find your old club pin or rummage through the closet for that badge-filled sash.

5. TO LOOK LIKE A GEEK, YOU GOTTA BEHAVE LIKE A GEEK. This is a biggee ruleand you’ve got two options: Obsessive-compulsive behavior or total lack of coordination.

Some people like the smell of glue but a true geek eats glue. Some people appreciate a colorful stamp or a nifty license plate, but a geek must collect as many as he can. Then he crams on the subject and talks about it to anybody who lingers. When a geek says, “Want to come up to my room and see my philatelic prize?” you can be sure it’s not a pickup line.

Geeks don’t know how to dance, but they spaz out on the dance floor anyway. Geeks can’t play soccer or hockey, but they’re out there whiffing majestically (plus they like the uniform) and having a blast.

Armed with the powerful knowledge of geek-dom, you’re ready to find your inner geek. But remember, it’s not about creating a costume. Oh no, not at all.
Being a geek is about showcasing something that you’ve secretly been proud of but hid because you feared teasing and taunting from people who just don’t understand what it means to be yourself.