Drawing Wrex of Mass Effect in my agenda: geeky or nerdy?
Time for another Fandom Friday!* I learn a lot from these events. Today: apparently there's a verb called "to nerd". It sounds like a geek word. A while ago, I read an about a group of scientists that had looked into the cultural meaning of the words "nerd" and "geek" based on their linguistic use. If I remember correctly, their conclusion was that "geek" is mostly related to fandom of things considered nerdy, while "nerd" is not. It's obviously a grayscale thing, hence the heated arguments about the definitions.
I don't really identify as either a geek or nerd, but it wasn't very hard for me to come up with five things I did that could be considered nerdy. (I left out the video gaming, as that would hardly be a surprise.) It's up to you to say if they qualify!
1) Old Frisian Runes
I'm fluent in the Old Frisian runic alphabet (both reading and writing). I've always loved history and extinct scripts, so when I read this alphabet in a magazine for medievalists, I decided to teach it to myself by writing in runes in my agenda. I am the first to admit that this is a totally pointless skill to have. I can't communicate with other people writing runes, because they all write in the better known Scandinavian scripts. I can't read original texts either, because I don't know Old Frisian. The amount of archaeological objects with runic inscriptions found in the Netherlands is very low, so it's an obscure script that's probably only known by a few people worldwide. Nevertheless, I've always enjoyed writing it, even if it's only me that can read it.
2) LOTR extended version marathon
This was during my highschool time. I was hosting a birthday party, in which everyone had to come as a Lord of the Rings character. I think I doubled as ent and lady Galadriel (or Eowyn, I don't quite remember - it was the lazy solution since I have that hair naturally), because I was wearing living branches and leaves in my ent costume and that was slightly impractical. There are still many fond memories of that party circulating amongst my friends, one of which is my friend falling asleep during Return of the King and snoring loudly in the romantic scene of Eowyn and Faramir (poor girl, she'll probably be remembered for that for the rest of her life). Another is two friends almost getting reprimanded by the police for having one of those really fake plastic silvery children swords tied to their bikes, because "someone could think it was real". The handmade solid wood Uruk hai blade that they brought - definitely capable of murder - was totally okay, though.
This picture of us was posted on the LOTRO forum at the time
3) Gamescom 2010
I was hanging out with an in-game friend in Lord of the Rings Online when he said: "hey, I'm going to Gamescom tomorrow in Germany and I have a spot left in my car - wanna come?" So we went, with a whole bunch of friends and acquaintances I had never met in my offline life before. We got to meet some of the LOTRO team and they were very kind to us. We eventually managed to conquer the six computers in the LOTRO corner to play an instance together. Because the event was in Köln, we had to play on the German client - oops! We managed to do everything by sheer muscle memory, although the skill names were a source of much hilarity.
It was that day that I found out that Gamescom events are not really something for me: too big, too many people, too much waiting for having a glimpse of some game that I was supposed to be very excited about. It was really the experience of hanging out with all these people I had done things together with in that online game that made it a very memorable day.
Our favourite Klingon drinking song
4) 'ej HumtaH 'ej DechtaH 'Iw
You might not be able to tell with all this SWTOR talk on this blog, but I'm actually more of a Trekkie than a Star Wars fan at heart. We used to meet up with four fellow trekkies and friends to see the D9 series. I think it took us about 1,5 years to watch the whole thing. During the course it somehow became tradition to sing a famous Klingon drinking song at the start of the evening. We learned it by heart. My friend Marinka always was the best at singing (and at the Klingon language in general) because she could do it with such passion.
- 'ej HumtaH 'ej DechtaH 'Iw
'ej Doq SoDtaH ghoSpa' Sqral bIQtIq
'e' pa' jaj law' mo' jaj puS
jaj qeylIS molar mIgh HoHchu'qu'
which more or less means:
- And the blood was ankle deep.
And the River Skral ran crimson red.
On the day above all days.
When Kahless slew evil Molor dead.
I don't think we even drank any alcohol with it, but it was all in the right spirit. I still have many fond memories of those evenings.
5) Nature nerds
I met my friend Marinka in highschool through a drawing I made in my agenda of Myathropa florea, a hoverfly I found in my back garden. We were mutually surprised by each other knowing the name of the insect. It was the start of a deep friendship that lasts until today (until she finds out I revealed how we met on this blog - haha).
We both loved going to youth nature camps, where we sought animals and plants in the wild. This was a totally not cool thing to do. I remember overhearing a conversation about my friend by two more popular (or, less weird) girls going something like this: "You know, she is actually a nice person. Only those queer nature things she does..." *looks disgusted*
But who cares. We had a ton of fun discovering and learning about new plants we had not seen before.
Me drawing Lathraea squamaria -->
Geek or nerd?
Regardless of where you stand in the geek-nerd debate, I think at least a few of these should qualify as "nerdy things", don't you think? Striking is that a lot of these activities involve hanging out with friends and have formed strong, happy memories over the years. Maybe the stereotype of the lonely, socially-awkward nerd isn't all that accurate after all.
What nerdy things did/do you do?
* 5 Fandom Friday is a weekly event organized by the Female Geek Bloggers group on Google+.