Nerds, Geeks and Dorks
As a philosopher geek it would behoove me to get my terms correct. Like many people I often use the terms “Geek,” “Nerd,” and “Dork” interchangeably. This is not strictly correct as each word has a specific, although somewhat similar, meaning. So in my geeky, or is that nerdish, way I will explain each of the words for you.
A Nerd is someone who is passionate about learning in general. It is someone that is interested in more abstract and academic pursuits. These interests may or may not be technical. They may, or may not, be obscure. They are more likely to know quite a lot about quite a lot but not necessarily to the huge depth of the geek.
A Geek is someone who is passionate about some particular subject or subjects. Often these will be technical or obscure. They will tend to know their subjects in incredible depth and detail, far more than a normal person could bear.
A Dork is someone who has difficulty with common social expectations and interactions. They may, or may not, be a geek or a nerd. They may have perfectly normal interests and knowledge but just find people “difficult.”
Where the confusion comes is that often these are mixed. Many nerds also have particular subjects they are geeky (expert) about. Many geeks also have a general interest in subjects outside their area of expertise (nerdy). Due to their introspective nature, many geeks and nerds also have trouble with common social interactions (dorks).
To sum up: Some nerds are also geeks. Some geeks are also nerds. Not every nerd is also a geek. Not every geek is also a nerd. Geeks and nerds can also be dorks but not every dork is a geek or a nerd. Geeks and nerds are not always dorks.
I hope that has cleared things up.