“You are such a geek”

Let’s talk about geeks – another one of those ubiquitous words that are difficult to understand for a non-native speaker.  Explaining what a geek is, is a bit difficult because the meaning has shifted somewhat.  It used to be a rather derogatory, used for (young, mostly male) people who build their own supercomputers with recycled parts from the flea-market but can’t bind their shoe-laces or say a complete  sentence in the presence for a girl.

Now people who are very interested in and enthusiastic about technology, especially computers (“computer geek”), engineering, technology or science (“science geek”) and are somewhat overdoing it are called geek. It still implies a certain lack of interpersonal skills but it is no longer terribly derogatory.

In some places – pretty much all of Silicon Valley, MIT, and other such geek havens –  the term is actually a compliment.  You have to be somewhat of a geek there. to be taken seriously.

Vulcan Greeting

Guy 1: “I stayed up all night to write an algorithm to remote control my electronic pet and then I studied Vulcan language because  I am writing a book about Vulcan grammar.”

Guy 2: “Dude, you are such a geek.  I thought you studied Klingon.”

Guy 1: “I am fluent in Klingon, dude.  Live long and prosper!” (makes Vulcan greeting)

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