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Because of the nerd stereotype, many smart people are often thought of as nerdy.
This belief can be harmful, as it can cause high-school students to "switch off their lights" out of fear of being branded as one of them, and cause otherwise appealing people to be nerdy simply for their intellect.
It was once thought that intellectuals were nerdy because they were envied.
The first documented appearance of the word "nerd" is as the name of a creature in Dr.
Seuss's book If I Ran the Zoo (1950), in which the narrator Gerald Mc Grew claims that he would collect "a Nerkle, a Nerd, and a Seersucker too" for his imaginary zoo.
Oral tradition there holds that the word is derived from "knurd" ("drunk" spelled backward), which was used to describe people who studied rather than partied.
The term gnurd (spelled with the "g") was in use at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology by 1965.
Nerd (adjective: nerdy) is a descriptive term, often used pejoratively, indicating a person that is overly intellectual, obsessive, or lacking social skills.
Such a person may spend inordinate amounts of time on unpopular, obscure, or non-mainstream activities, which are generally either highly technical or relating to topics of fiction or fantasy, to the exclusion of more mainstream activities.
and may have difficulty participating in, or even following, sports.
Though originally derogatory, "Nerd" is a stereotypical term, but as with other pejoratives, it has been reclaimed and redefined by some as a term of pride and group identity.