Geek (n) slang - a peculiar or otherwise dislikable person, esp. one who is perceived to be overly intellectual; a computer expert or enthusiast (a term of pride as self-reference, but often considered offensive when used by outsiders).
Dork (n) slang - a stupid, inept, or foolish person; a penis (I kid you not, it's in the American Heritage Dictionary!)
I've often called myself a nerd, but I only just today got around to actually looking up the definitions of various words used to describe people like me. I have to say, I don't think any of them sum me up adequately.
I'm mostly a nerd, I suppose, since I love all things science, space, history, and well-written books. I don't quite see where the "accomplished in scientific or technical pursuits" comes in since I'm not that good at anything in particular. Socially inept can certainly apply in some cases, though. Geek doesn't apply that much either, since I don't think I'm dislikable and I'm nowhere near computer expert. In fact, sometimes I think I'm mildly retarded when it comes to all things electronic. And dork definitely doesn't apply...though I may be foolish occasionally (who isn't?) I am definitely not a penis.
So I am not sure which definitive category loving Star Wars, LotR, Harry Potter, astrophysics, the History Channel, nursing, and novels puts me into. Use your own judgement, I suppose.
I bring all this up because I was at a book opening last night. I usually take pride in the fact that I'm who I am, nerdiness and all. But at Barnes & Noble last night for the Breaking Dawn release, I wanted nothing more than to hide under my car so no one could see me. Harry Potter releases were tame compared to this. Standing in line next to 15 year old girls in full prom outfits, sparkles, and posters was mortifying. There was even a cashier in full face makeup - as a werewolf. I tried not to make eye contact with anyone, lest they try to strike up a conversation. I bet that conversation would go something like this:
Giggly goth girl in short black prom dress: "OMG OMG! He is so hot! I love Edward, he is perfect OMG he's like the man of my dreams you must love him too because you came at midnight to get the book OMG we're like bff now!"
Me: "Um, I came at midnight because I work the nightshift and I was awake anyway. But I'll give the books a shot."
GGGISBPD: "OMG you totally are in love with him, aren't you?"
Me: "With a fictional character? No, I prefer my crushes to actually exist."
GGGISBPD: "You don't love him? You're not a real fan. You should not have come here tonight. You will regret this action."
At this point she would sound a battle call to all the other 15 year old pimply prom dressed girls in line, shout that I am surely a spy sent in to search and destroy their fanbase, and I would be demolished by the furious horde. It wouldn't be pretty. I bet the newspaper headlines wouldn't be kind to me.
At any rate, I would rather avoid a fate like that. So I kept my mouth shut and eyes to myself, got a handful of real books plus the one on sale, and got the F out of there. I may be a nerd, but at least you won't ever catch me dressing up for a midnight book release and pining away for a man who only exists in size 12 Times New Roman.