About the Manual

The Nerd Manual is meant to be both a useful resource for nerds and a guide for the people involved with nerds. If you're a nerd you can find information here that will help you improve your life and perhaps better understand yourself. If you're close friends with, dating, or married to a nerd, I want to give you insight into things nerds do that a lot of people have difficulty understanding.

I hope to avoid offending anyone--either nerd or non-nerd--but please understand that the manual will get into some sensitive topics, stray into contentious territories, and even use stereotypes to illustrate points. It's OK to disagree with something, but keep your comments civil.


Nerdism: Live Long and Prosper

Vulcan Salute-Ashwin Kamath
One of the earliest nerdisms, the phrase, "live long and prosper," originated from the first Star Trek television series in 1967 and is usually accompanied by a hand gesture--hand raised with the palm forward, fingers parted between the middle and ring finger, thumb extended.

Don't worry, it's not a gang sign, simply a benign gesture of greeting or farewell. The hand gesture was actually inspired by a Jewish blessing. The usual response is to raise your hand in the same manner and say, "peace and long life."

If you really want to impress (or blow the mind of) the person who bestows this greeting upon you, answer, "dif-tor heh smusma" (which is the same phrase in Vulcan.)

Nerds commonly use this greeting as a way of showing their common interests to other nerds--much like some men high-five and shout, "dude!" or some women air kiss and say, "darling." While the Vulcan salute may seem like an affectation, it actually resonates with a core nerd value, considering that its roots lie with a race that eschews emotion for the pursuit of pure logic, and the greeting allows nerds to subtly proclaim independence from everyday society in a way that indicates respect and well-wishes toward the recipient. 

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