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: Transhuman

J.D. Hancock - Austin vs Gadget
This is a fairly recent term that's gained common use...among nerds and geeks, but it's slowly creeping into the vernacular of non-nerds. 

Not long ago you would have heard metahuman, and before that superhuman. Each word has a very similar connotation, although the specifics vary slightly. 

All three words are typically used in reference to comic book or movie superheroes, like The Flash, Elasta-Girl, Spiderman, or Buffy the Vampire Slayer who have powers or abilities, however transhuman encompasses any human who has, through evolution or augmentation, acquired capabilities beyond normal humans. This could be mythological heroes like Fionn mac Cumhaill, fictional future humans like Beatrice Prior, or even real-life people who change so much that they can no longer be regarded as merely human. (Superman and Doctor Who don't qualify because they're not human.) 

The word transhuman has become more popular recently because of technological advances that bring us closer to the possibility of extending our lifespan and expanding our physical abilities through cybernetics, genetics, nanotech and a host of other technologies that make a lot of super powers seem like a feasible concept.


Nerd Q&A: What's up with Nerds and Inhalers?

Retinafunk - Inhaler Street Art
Here's an astute question.
Why are nerds in movies and on TV always carrying around inhalers?

I never paid attention to this trope, even though I consider myself a nerd but never had an inhaler, and few of the nerds I've known in life had inhalers either. Based on my personal experience the inhaler=nerd stereotype isn't true, but it still strikes me as believable. Here's why:


Nerdism: Frak!

This all-purpose euphemism hails from the Sci-Fi Channel's reboot of Glen Larson's Battlestar Galactica. Sci-Fi replaced the original show's 1970's disco-tastic trappings with alcoholism, violence, sex, and a multitude of identity crises.

Don't confuse frak with frack. The latter has become a common diminutive reference to hydraulic fracturing, but Battlestar's frak (without the "c") predates the common use of frack by a few years.

Frak is like the Swiss army knife of euphemisms. It can be used as a verb, noun, adjective, or interjection and replaces the equally versatile yet less welcome “f-word” that teachers don't want you to use in class.