Geeks vs. nerds: I was right!

Kimzey recently asked me the difference between a geek and a nerd. I answered with the same phrase I coined years ago: “Geeks are self-aware nerds.” I have always reasoned that nerds aren’t aware that they are social lepers; geeks not only acknowledge their outcastness, they embrace it and celebrate it as a culture. People laughed when I made this distinction a few years back, and some even tried to tell me I was wrong…but who’s laughing now that the cartoon rat agrees with me?

Wired: There’s a great line on your new album, Werewolves: “My geekiness is getting in the way of my nerdiness.” What’s the distinction?

Oswalt: A lot of nerds aren’t aware they’re nerds. A geek has thrown his hands up to the universe and gone, “I speak Klingon — who am I fooling? You win! I’m just gonna openly like what I like.” Geeks tend to be a little happier with themselves.

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