Are you a word nerd?

Are you a word nerd?  That’s the question being asked by Brad Shorr at Word Sell.  So much of a word nerd am I that I had to look up the word “nerd” before I could take the test…

Webster’s ‘specialty definition’ gives us two meanings.  (I think you get to choose which one might apply to you.)

1. [mainstream slang] Pejorative applied to anyone with an above-average IQ and few gifts at small talk and ordinary social rituals.

2. [jargon] Term of praise applied (in conscious ironic reference to sense 1) to someone who knows what’s really important and interesting and doesn’t care to be distracted by trivial chatter and
silly status games.

The other interesting thing I learned from looking up the word is its origin.  It is said that the word comes from the lines:

“And then, just to show them, I’ll sail to Ka-Troo / And Bring Back an It-Kutch, a Preep and a Proo, / A Nerkle, a Nerd, and a Seersucker, too!”

from the Dr. Seuss book “If I Ran the Zoo” (1950).

Never let it be said that you can’t learn stuff from a dictionary.

You can test how much of a word nerd you are at Word Sell’s ‘Test Your Vocabulary’.  It’s quick and it’s fun - or at least it is for those of us word nerds…

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2 Responses to “Are you a word nerd?”

  1. On June 14, 2007 at 10:21 pm Brad Shorr responded with... #

    Hi Joanna,
    Thanks for mentioning my vocabulary quiz. Your score was outstanding, and let me know if I can help you on your quest for greater nerdiness!

  2. On June 15, 2007 at 10:50 am Joanna Young
    Twitter: joannapaterson
    responded with... #

    Brad, my pleasure. I just hope I can get a higher score next time!



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