Richard Oliff: Are you a nerd or an anorak?

George McFly from Back to the Future: A nerd or an anorak?
George McFly from Back to the Future: A nerd or an anorak?

A frivolous thought entered my head this week in the form of a question.

Is a nerd in the same league as an anorak?

It seems to me there is a distinct difference between “the knowledge” and “the actions” of an individual.

A nerd would know everything there is to know about the Beatles.

An anorak will go to see the Bootleg Beatles dressed as John Lennon to keep the dream alive.

However, what would be the point in knowing everything about fish, fishing rods and fishing technique, without actually going fishing from time to time?

One can only assume that an anorak will attempt to see or relive experiences that have never or no longer exist in the present, like watching the Flying Scotsman as it hammers through Kettering station, or visiting the NEC to attend a Star Trek convention.

Now, whether I’m right or wrong, as a definition of either seems somewhat subjective, I’m reasonably certain that I am, have, and shall probably remain firmly in one if not both camps.

However, there is a third category that appears to be immune from sociably acceptable ridicule: indeed I can’t imagine that they would ever see their collective as anything other than serious, and would baulk at the thought of being regarded as either a nerd or an anorak.

These are the “fans”: the fanatics.

A Chelsea or Manchester United fanatic may well see themselves in a different league to the devotee of everything Dr Who, yet many of them are to be seen wearing expensive team shirts which bear the logos of multinational companies from whom they will receive not one penny for their devotion.

My conclusion was to spend no further time on this frivolous thought and listen to some music.