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.


Why Do Nerds Like Swords?

Phil South - Sword Girl
Not all nerds like swords.

But a lot of people do like swords, so this question's worth entertaining.

There are a few things specific to nerd-dom that imbue swords with a certain mystique:

power, history, fantasy, and legend.

Obviously, a sword symbolizes power (something appealing to anyone) especially the nerd who may have had multiple encounters with bullies who were bigger and stronger and more adept at using fists. But swords are far more than simple revenge fantasy fulfillment.

The earliest swords date back to the bronze age and swords can be found in almost every culture around the globe. A sword is a weapon, yes, but it also speaks volumes about the time and culture of its origin. A claymore boasts of a hard land where sheer force of will carved life out of the highlands, while a katana speaks of discipline and duty over emotion and self-interest.

A sword represents potential. Anyone can use a sword, just pick it up and swing, which makes swords universally appealing...and useful. But, mastering the full abilities of that same weapon involves years of training. A sword, like life, demands focus.

Generally speaking, swords are objects of legend, born between hell and hammer. A sword is more than a length of metal. It must be sharp enough to slice silk yet flexible enough not to shatter against steel. This is the magic of the swordsmith. And any good fantasy story--from The Odyssey to Morte de Arthur to Game of Thrones to Star Wars--hinges on a sword.

The edge of a sword balances life and death.

If none of that convinces you, keep this in mind when you wonder why your nerd friend has a sword hanging on the wall. When the zombies are breaking down your front door, a sword won't run out of bullets.

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