What Does It Mean to be a Nerd?

In the comments section of a page titled "How to Get a Job as a Professional Nerd," I got into an argument with user Sanguine1, who took considerable offense at the way the word "nerd" was being bandied about. Among other frank opinions, he said:

It seems to me that victims of this word's prejorative use deserve an apology from all the people who have decided that they can invoke relativism whenever it suits them and upgrade "pop culture obsession" to "intellectual pursuit" or suggest that Comic Con is in any way "antisocial" or "unstylish." Clearly, somewhere, the meaning is broken in popular culture and I don't have to be a rocket scientist to point it out.


(You can read the rest here.)


I argued that the word has long since taken on much broader meaning and need not be bound only to its pejorative definition anymore, but since it's deep enough in the comments that nobody else could ever be expected to see it, I wanted to open it up to public discussion. Is your perception of the word "nerd" positive or negative (or neutral)? Have you ever been the victim of the word being used to denigrate or mock you? Do you believe people calling themselves nerds is an insult to people who have been made fun of or bullied for being nerds? I'd really like to hear what other people's experiences and viewpoints are with this word.

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