06 October 2008

Where do 'Nerds' come from?

From the looks of it, this is a widely debated topic. Who knew people cared that much about etymology?

I found a site that has done a bit of extensive research on this topic. Page of Brons, Thaumaturgical Engineer.

The author contests that the term might initially been used by Dr. Seuss in If I Ran The Zoo.

But he also alludes to other claims of origin, some prior to this instance and explores the validity of these claims.

The claim (post-the good Doc's book) that interested me was about the
Northern Electric Research and Development Laboratories (NE R&D) in Ottawa. Like the author points out, this example fits too perfectly into existing ideas of nerdism ( you know, as opposed to a gradual evolution of the idea over time).