Thinking like a geek

As I’m italian and surely an IT addicted I’ve always liked to discover and use some kind of strange ‘niche’ word (and this is surely one of them :P), that almost came from english or latin. Surfing around the net makes me always discover new and interesting words, like portmanteau that’s one of my favourites. Lately I came across a doubt that I absolutely have to solve, it’s about the “geek” word.

After years of websurfing and a lot of contacts with foreigners, first of all Eric Gjerde who has kindly came to meet me where he was here in Italy, I’ve discovered that the world uses to refer to us, Math/IT/Origami/{whatever} addicted people, as geeks.

Now, it’s a lot of time since I’m describing myself to other as a geek, and I’ve been very proud of this term, even cause I like the real geeks (=little cute animals) but for sure cause I’ve never thought of it like an offense.

Recently my girlfriend started her university studies at the faculty of “FOREIGN LANGUAGES AND LITERATURE” and said me that geek is actually an offense if used from the outsiders of a ‘group’. So, I’ve just made a search on dictionary.com and here’s what it says:

geek Slang. –noun

1. a peculiar or otherwise dislikable person, esp. one who is perceived to be overly intellectual.
2. a computer expert or enthusiast (a term of pride as self-reference, but often considered offensive when used by outsiders.)
3. a carnival performer who performs sensationally morbid or disgusting acts, as biting off the head of a live chicken.

So, leaving out the third definition, cause I’ve never done such things (at least until now :P) I have to dissent on the first one. I and surely any of the person I know never thought about me as a dislikable person, although some of them think, I really don’t know why, that I’m a little overly intellectual. I’ve always been as kind as I could with all the people I’ve met in my life and keep contacts with any of them so I’m wondering what is this all about. It’s just the use of the word that has slightly changed his meanning through the time or I’m completely wrong and that is the real meaning?

I don’t know…maybe I only have to meet some other people and make some other researches before I can have a really satisfying answer.

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