Ok, second try since my hands, mouse and keyboard conspired against me to make a series of errors that resulted in me accidentally deleting everything I had just typed while trying to save what little text remained and then accidentally deleting that too. What is a nerd? The definition of nerd seems to differ wherever you go. When I was growing up being called a nerd was one of the worst things that could happen because it was effectively seen as treachery against your fellow students and siding with the teachers. Nobody wanted to admit they studied or paid attention, not even the smart ones (especially not the smart ones) because the punishments could get very physical and could go on for years or until graduation. The word nerd was used to dehumanize people, often used by ring-leaders against people they didn't like so that others would feel less empathy. It was easier for kids to abuse another when they saw them as something less than human. I never got called a nerd because frankly I just wasn't that smart (though I did genuinely like to learn). I got off lightly with the label psycho (I only got that because someone spread a false rumour of me trying to stab someone I'd never even met) which I didn't fit but it kept people from wanting to pick on me physically. I get the impression that the definition of nerd is quite different in America and that American highschoolers are not quite so caught up in teacher hate, labelling and silly cliques as kids over here in Britain are. I get the impression that in at least some parts of America the word nerd doesn't come with such vicious and violent dehumanization and some even wear it as a badge of pride, ignoring the nay-sayers. But I also get the impression that it has less to do with smarts and more to do with being interested in things such as anime, games and computers. I don't think high school kids in America would randomly call, say, an astrophysicist a nerd, but they might call a programmer a nerd. Am I right about this? Bear in mind I really don't care that much about labels (I wouldn't put any label on myself for anything) but they do exist and I've always seen contradictions over what people regard as a nerd, especially more so now that it is becoming a popular trend. When people call themselves a nerd nowadays what do they mean?