Monday, May 18, 2009

Nerd Word of the Day: Fanboy

Fanboys 'n Da Hood album coverImage via Wikipedia

Fanboy (n.) - Quoth Merriam-Webster, "a boy who is an enthusiastic devotee (as of comics or movies)." Once upon a time this was perjorative within geek circles, describing fans who had lost objectivity about the subject of their passions (like, say, people who can't admit that recent Star Wars movies are pale imitations of original Star Wars movies). Female fanboys are called fangirls. The term has of late been reclaimed by by geeks as a self-described badge of honor, denoting "true" geekdom as opposed to the passing contemporary coolness of being called a "geek." Bottom line, if I call myself a fanboy--as I do in the right column of this blog--it's okay. If you call me a fanboy, it's usually an insult.

I bring it up because: The movie Fanboys, about a group of guys trying to break into Skywalker Ranch in 1997 to see Star Wars, Episode I before its release, comes out on DVD tomorrow. Also, because of the recent backlash against the I am a Geek campaign, which conflates using a computer (or, more specifically, Twitter) with actual social geekdom. The term fanboy has some nuances that both these memes highlight, to varying degrees. Discuss.

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1 comment:

  1. And here I thought FANBOYS was an acronym to remember the coordinating conjunctions:


    Learn something new every day!