Wednesday, 22 September 2010

Geekdom and Nerdcore

I wrote recently about the curious origins of the word ‘geek’. I see from an article on the BBC web site that geeks now have their own subculture which goes by the name of ‘geekdom’ while nerds have embraced a musical idiom called ‘nerdcore’.
"Nerdcore is like every other sort of hip hop, just considerably less cool," said MC Frontalot, one of the founding fathers of the scene.

The subject matter stands in contrast to that traditionally explored in hip-hop, he explained.

"Topics include video games, science fiction, dungeons and dragons, but the deeper themes also look at feelings of alienation, paranoia and inadequacy that must always be battled in order to leave your apartment." 
The BBC article (Nerdcore: hip-hop for rhyming geeks) tends to use the terms ‘geek’ and ‘nerd’ indiscriminately as though there were no real difference between them. I’m not sure that is the case. It seems to me that ‘geek’ has slightly cooler overtones than ‘nerd’. Hence the expression ‘geek chic’. I can’t imagine a word as positive as ‘chic’ being applied to a nerd.

But then again, maybe that’s just the sort of thing a nerd like me would say...?

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