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Useless Information (part one)

It's been a little while since I wrote a blog and I'm terribly ashamed of this. By writing extremely interesting pieces that change my reader's lives, I have set a standard that I must keep up with. I apologize for the suspense, but without further ado...
I have decided to start a series of writings that will help fill in the gaps between my other blogs. The only problem was that I couldn't think of an appropriately interesting theme for my series. I was thinking long and hard and suffering some considerable mental anguish over this before it came to me in a self-given complaint, "everything you know, Levi, is useless!" Out of that put-down to myself came the idea. I will be writing a series (of which you already know the theme due to the title of this blog) entitled "Useless Information." Between my normal blogs I will give you a bit of info that you will definitely find useless. However, you will find yourselves pleasantly entertained as well as a little more knowledgeable after the fact. So, here is part one. Enjoy!

I recently was having a conversation with a fellow co-worker about something. I forget now the content of the discussion, but the outcome was what I remembered. Whatever it was that we suddenly disagreed with each other on prompted us to look up the definitions of a couple of words to settle the disagreement. The two words were "nerd" and "geek". The former had a much expected definition while the latter was somewhat appalling. "Geek" is defined by Merriam-Webster as "a carnival performer often billed as a wild man whose act usually includes biting the head off a live chicken or snake." This was the first definition listed for geek. There were two more that defined a geek how most of us would normally define it. My question is, "Would Ozzy Osbourne be considered a geek even though he worked concerts not carnivals and it was a bat and not a chicken?" I thought that Merriam-Webster's entry for "nerd" was really interesting. The definition was about normal, but it was the origin that I found intriguing. Apparently, a nerd was a creature in a Dr. Seuss book. Like in all Dr. Seuss books he explains the nature of all the creatures in the story. In his descriptive account he lists about all the attributes of a nerd as he sees it. Our modern definition mirrors his description of his invented creature. The book is If I Ran The Zoo. I think that it's interesting how an author of children's books could invent a word that millions of people use daily. So, from now on when you hear the word "nerd" remember the legacy of Dr. Seuss.

3 comments:

I too am ashamed - ashamed that I havent viewed your blog in a long time. I even broke down and exhumed my old blog and made an entry. I'm a better man for knowing the origin of "geek". I'll never look at that word the same. Hope you and fam had a great Thanksgiving!

Austria was the first country to use postcards.

Do you feel better knowing that? I enjoy useless trivia!

Take care.
Ramona

I didn't know that. But, thank you for adding to the already substantially sized Useless Knowledge Bank of Files!

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