Thursday, June 23, 2011

get your geek on

Yesterday I wrote for the Gloss about why I'm having so much fun as of late being a dance geek and it got me thinking about that word geek and its many iterations.

Way back when I was a kid, you didn't want to be called a geek, it had negative connotations of loserdom. Being a geek was the antithesis of cool.

But this word has become transformed in our pop culture conception and colloquial use of it. The show Glee has spawned a cavalcade of fan declaring themselves 'Gleeks' and a couple of weeks ago the mighty Anna Wintour descended from her throne to accept a webby award and decreed that 'sometimes geeks can be chic'. 

In adult life we use the words 'geek' or 'nerd' not to describe some shameful state of ostracism but rather to illustrate how passionate we are about something: I'm a book nerd, a wine geek etc. When we're with kindred spirits who are similarly passionate about something, we 'geek' out about it. This usage is sort of fitting because in a way it did mean the same thing in childhood. When you're a kid and especially when you're a teenager, being too into anything besides a sport (and not every sport at that, badminton wouldn't really have cut it) made you automatically seem too earnest to ever be cool. But adults who are really into something are well-rounded and interesting, the kind of people you want to be around.

So go on, geek out. You know you want to.

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