It's one of the perennial questions: Are you a geek, or a nerd?
Now, for my part, I've always considered the term "nerd" to be insulting and derogatory, while "geek" is a term of praise meant for those who are clearly smart and sophisticated enough to appreciate the pleasures of Dungeons & Dragons, Star Wars comic books, and Dr. Who. When I refer to someone as a geek, I am engaging in high praise!
However, there is a school of thought that says that this is exactly backwards. To refer to someone as a "geek" is insulting, while a nerd is a super-intelligent computer coding and physics-problem solving machine.
Clearly there is some overlap between the "nerd" and "geek" categories, but it is apparently an ongoing conversation about whether one or both of them is a term of derision. Over at the SciFi website io9, this conversation has led to a rather heated set of discussions. Austin Grossman writes, in a plea to abolish the whole concept of "nerd," writes:
The category "nerd" overturned conventional ideas of cool, of attractiveness in both men and women, and of what it made sense to do on a Friday night. By valuing people who like cool stuff and don't care if gets them called a loser, it redefined what being a winner is. It gave me a way to value who I was and what I was doing.
which in turn led to an extended comment thread about the distinctions between nerds and geeks (not to mention "dorks," which are universally reviled by all parties).
In the end, the defining characteristics, and the praiseworthiness, of these terms will remain in some dispute. But, until the terminological wars are ended and peace restored to the realm of socially awkward smart people, I will remain proudly geek.