Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Schlub versus nerd

Well, you have to give it up for Benjamin Nugent. The guy has come up with a seriously funny title for his book: American Nerd: The Story of My People. And the book sounds intriguing.

While there is certainly some overlap between schlubs and nerds, I don't think that the two are exactly the same thing.

Schlubs are certainly a bit clueless about social norms (I give you, as an example, me), but we care about social norms a bit more. We can fake it when we want to. (Certainly better than nerds can.)

And, unlike nerds, we do in fact know something about art and culture. (And sometimes even pop culture!) Certainly, we both care about, say, The Simpsons. But I'm not sure that a true schlub could ever like something as dull as Dungeons & Dragons. I'm not sure that a true nerd could really care about somethign as bizarro (and cool) as the Flaming Lips. The way a nerd dresses is very different from the way a schlub dresses. And if you need someone to fix your computer, you're way better off calling a nerd than calling a schlub.

Still, there is plenty of overlap. I'm intrigued.