Tag Archives: linguistics

a whole hour on Google Maps zooming into the Klingon Dictionary

In case you’ve ever wondered where some of my stranger image titles/captions in various places around teh web come from, I’ve decided it’s time to let you all know – and I’ve mentioned it before but you may not have gotten that memo – that they don’t come from my deranged imagination fully formed, not at all – they’re only based on the contents of my brain. They are in fact Markov-chain generated, based on one- and two-word units from everything I’ve ever written on Facebook. It’s all thanks to a brilliant piece of software developed by some nerds at Princeton, who created http://www.what-would-i-say.com for the benefit of mankind. It’s great fun, fascinating if you’re into statistics, linguistics or algorithms, and of course a very useful resource for a lazy absurdist.

what are the rules?

I think i’m quite at Cambridge…

Hearing music with subtitles on “I’m Mister Coffee” with Martin Luther King’s “I have a bath”. Too utopian perhaps, but on the toilet I’m going to be prepared to meet inspiration halfway.

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Although I always have a moderately large supply of entertaining things to say and share, I’ve been a terrible blogger from the outset. I’ve wondered why, and entertained various hypotheses about it (extreme laziness, shyness, trauma around written assignments ever since Cambridge?) and I realized that the reason I avoid blogging is due to  accumulated guilt about not blogging. Continue reading

On “Geek” Versus “Nerd”

Some good distinctions and a nice thorough bit of research.


To many people, “geek” and “nerd” are synonyms, but in fact they are a little different. Consider the phrase “sports geek” — an occasional substitute for “jock” and perhaps the arch-rival of a “nerd” in high-school folklore. If “geek” and “nerd” are synonyms, then “sports geek” might be an oxymoron. (Furthermore, “sports nerd” either doesn’t compute or means something else.)

In my mind, “geek” and “nerd” are related, but capture different dimensions of an intense dedication to a subject:

  • geek – An enthusiast of a particular topic or field. Geeks are “collection” oriented, gathering facts and mementos related to their subject of interest. They are obsessed with the newest, coolest, trendiest things that their subject has to offer.
  • nerd – A studious intellectual, although again of a particular topic or field. Nerds are “achievement” oriented, and focus their efforts on acquiring knowledge and skill over trivia and memorabilia.

Or, to…

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