A little quiz for ya:
1. When you're planning a trip, do you spend a lot of time looking at maps? (even when you know where you're going)
2. When you go to look up a word in the dictionary, do you get sidetracked by other interesting words you find along the way?
3. Do you subscribe to A Word a Day? (or some other place that sends you words by e-mail)
4. When you go to a bookstore, do you gravitate to the reference section and look longingly at books such as Bryan Garner's Modern American Usage?
5. When you read Atlantic Monthly, do you read the Word Court column first?
6. Have you read a book by Barbara Wallraff? Do you know who she is?*
7. Have you ever amused yourself by reading the encyclopedia?
8. Is your computer cluttered with nifty free programs that you just HAD to try.
9. Were you a member of your high school band, and/or participated in debate and forensics? (give yourself extra points for doing these things in college)
10. Do you feel you can relate to Hermione Grainger (Harry Potter's know-it-all friend)?
If you can say yes to maybe half of these questions, then just go ahead, embrace your inner geek. You don't need to go out and buy a pocket protector or walk around carrying a big dictionary, but be happy with yourself. I figured this out about myself some time ago and decided, this is who I am. That's OK.
By the way, this isn't a scientific study and no human subjects were subjected to embarrassing questions while I formulated this quiz. And this is by no means a comprehensive measure of geekiness -- it's just a measure of some types of geekiness.
(And if you can tell me that you averaged 61 mph on a 1200-mile drive back from Idaho, you might also qualify.)
* Barbara Wallraff is the Word Court columnist and has written a couple of cool books -- about words of course.