Popular Science has a new interview with President Obama about science and technology. And with it, he has effectively helped kill the word “nerd.” The word hasn’t been a pejorative in roughly 30 years. But when the President of the United States acknowledges that, we can officially call it a meaningless term.
PS: Do you consider yourself a nerd and, if so, what’s your nerdiest pastime?
BO: Well, my administration did write a pretty detailed response to a petition, explaining why we wouldn’t build a real-life Death Star, so I’d like to think I have at least a little nerd credibility built up.
What’s remarkable is the way “nerd” is such a badge of honor now. Growing up, I’m sure I wasn’t the only kid who read Spider-Man comics and learned how to do the Vulcan salute, but it wasn’t like it is today. I get the sense that today’s young people are proud to be smart and curious, to design new things, and tackle big problems in unexpected ways. I think America’s a nerdier country than it was when I was a kid—and that’s a good thing!
Nerds are dead. Long live nerds.
You can read more from Obama over at Popular Science, including his claim to be “the first president to welcome a 17-foot-tall robotic giraffe onto his lawn.” But that’s only because Teddy Roosevelt’s robotic giraffe was a mere 16 feet tall.
(AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)