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Who's a Nerd?

Why is it that if you enjoy words and their development (etymologies) you are a word nerd? Or if you enjoy entering another world or life through books you are considered a book worm or book nerd? Who determines this? If you know all the minutiae associated with baseball (and there's a lot of that) why aren't you considered a baseball nerd? Are there hunting nerds? There are band nerds. I get a thrill out of fishing, does that make me a fish nerd?
It seems to me that physical activities act against the thought of one being a nerd, but any action that requires cerebration doesn't. So the athletes made the rules on this, why? Why have we let them? Just because my enjoyment of reading makes me better than you doesn't mean I can go around labeling the sub-literate. Of course, camping and rock climbing are clearly superior to some loud, drunken tailgating party, but those adherents of outdoor recreation shouldn't condemn the less-fortunate sucking down chili dogs and covered in various shades of grease paint. I shouldn't call you a low-brow for your vicarious (and obviously impotent) enjoyment of professional basketball, right? So lay off the labeling there, blockhead.


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