But what is a nerd, some of you may wonder? A nerd, my dear gentle readers, defies description. As to paraphrase Louie Armstrong, if you have to have it described to you, you aren't one. However, the best definition I have found:
"Nerd is a term, often bearing a derogatory connotation or stereotype, that refers to a person who passionately pursues intellectual activities, technical or scientific endeavours, esoteric knowledge, or other obscure interests that are age-inappropriate, rather than engaging in more social or popular activities. Therefore, a nerd is often excluded from physical activity and considered a loner by peers, or will tend to associate with like-minded people."
If you substituted the opening word "nerd" with Zella, you would have a perfect description of myself, except for maybe the bit on technical and scientific endeavors. And what do I consider nerd qualifications?
I take optional finals for fun.I collect encyclopedias.
I celebrate Sherlock Holmes's birthday and have an extensive argument for why that is in January and not in June.
I am pretty sure that Sherlock is real and alive and well, but nobody else believes me.
I can recite a Coen Brothers' movie quote for every occasion.
I read short stories in school anthologies that are not assigned to me.
I delight in being a non-conformist.
I think that grammar quizzes are fun.
I wrote two 70+ reports on Russian revolutionary thought when I was a high school senior and enjoyed every minute of it.
I like writing research papers.
I have only been invited to three birthday parties in my entire life. (The memories still traumatize me . . .)
I know the difference between inferring and implying and will judge you when you confuse the two.
I have more online friends than I have real life friends.
My real-life friends (with the exception of one normal person) are all strange. Not serial killer strange. But definitely strange.
I don't understand why anyone would hate Shakespeare.
I celebrate his birthday (the assumed date of his birth, anyway).
It distresses me that Kafka led an unhappy life.
I have a somewhat extensive battle plan for nerds to take over the world.
I know the difference between prefrontal and transorbital lobotomies and have performed them both on a skeleton for a live audience and scared my classmates witless in the process. :D
I have gotten into extensive online fights over Jane Eyre, Pink Floyd and Lord of the Flies. (Not together.)
I wear glasses and am nearly legally blind.
I am the queen of Trivial Pursuit and Risk.
I did a book inventory when I was twelve and stopped counting at twelve hundred.
I have only gotten rid of a half dozen books since then and buy about two hundred books a year.
Over thirty of my books are on Russian history.
Another twenty are on grammar/English/linguistics.
I compulsively buy books, just in case I may read them. Case in point: I got a free college chemistry instructor's manual at school Friday, just in case I ever want to read it. (I never will.)
I started reading at the age of two but was considered autistic for not being able to follow directions. (Just because I won't doesn't mean I can't.)
I think it's perfectly normal to talk to myself.
I name all of my possessions after favorite fictional characters.
I correct the grammar on the study guides I get at school.
I use words like "Forsooth" and "Alas" in conversation.
I do not drink coffee, but I own a coffee cup that says "I read a latte."
I cry when fictional characters die in books.
I read dictionaries and encyclopedias.
People always tell me I am a nerd.
I have taken an online nerd test for fun.
And now, because of this last item, I finally have honest-to-goodness proof that I am a nerd, because it is official: I am a Highly Dorky Nerd Queen. *points to nerd graph below*
I was surprised with the results for science, math, and technology, for I consider them nerdy weak points of mine. I am thinking that the fact that I know what computer codes are, without being able to use them, helped me out. The history/literature one I am quite proud of--I mean, those are my majors! I think I should be able to use this when I apply to grad school. The dork one makes me happy. This explains why I always stare at my shoes during face-to-face conversations. ^^
Now tell me, my dear nerd friends, what qualifies you as a nerd? And how did you score? *awaits fellow nerd scores happily* :D
P.S. My fellow grammar geeks will savor this meditation upon the dreaded alot. Enjoy!