Nerd Discourse Community

Blog ยป Nerd Discourse Community

Posted on 07 Mar 2013 22:28

By: Zeyad Saleh

Throughout time, nerds were never able to speak what they truly believe in fear of being made fun of. However these "nerds", when interacting with one another, always end up having discussions they very much enjoy. They talk about topics such as video games, anime, computers, technology, science and more. They discuss technological advancements in the present time, scientific discoveries of the present, and whatever they want to talk about without having, what they consider, "regular" people interrupt them. However, sometimes they are not able to interact physically with each other. Therefore, there are forums out there where they get to discuss what they would discuss in person.

These nerds have a common goal if being able to discuss whatever they want, without having outside people interrupt or judge them. They want to be able to talk about "nerdy things" without having "regular people", look at them weirdly. These online forums are made so that they could do this, but not necessarily in person. The online forum that I will be focusing on is called "Nerd Forum". This forum is split up into categories. Some of these categories are: computers, media, games, other nerdy things. These categories are then split up into sub-categories. In the "other nerdy things" category is the sub-category "Science." In this sub-category the "nerds" can start any discussions that are science related. For example, one discussion was titled, "What is the moral/ethical line that science should not cross?" In here there are 68 replies/comments. The members of this forum talked about what they believed about this discussion, and did so without any trouble. They also discuss current events that interest them. For example they had a discussion about the recent meteorite storm in Russia. Here they can discuss what they think is the reason, or what they think about it in general. They are able to share their thoughts with other nerds, without meeting them, on this forum.

I use quotation marks whenever i refer to them as "nerds". This is because calling them nerds may not be the nicest and most professional term to identify them as. However, these people refer to themselves as nerds. They call themselves nerds and say that they are part of a community of nerds. Therefore, I really don't need the quotation marks because they like being referred to as nerds. But how can you join this community?

The members of the forum love it when their community expands. If you call yourself a nerd and think you can handle the discussions they have, then you are welcome to join. Anybody who thinks they are a nerd and enjoy talking about the topics they talk about, can easily become a member of the forum and be called a fellow nerd.

There are two different types of people on the forum. The regular members and the "Admins". These admins are the ones who created the site. They are part of the community and are also identified as nerds, but have an extra role to watch over the site to maintain it and to make sure nothing wrong is happening.

According to Swales, this community is a discourse community. This community agrees with the 6 points that Swales said makes up a discourse community. There is a common goal, the members communicate with each other, they provide information on the forum, they communicate using different genres, ranging from the forum to emails to in person or a memo. They also have their own lexis. They have terms that only they use. For example, the terms nerd or DIY, or PHP, or Coding. The last point is a threshold of members and this group loves it when members join and it definitely has a lot of members. Therefore, according to Swales, it follows the requirements to become a discourse community.

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