But it wasn't always so. As author Benjamin Nugent tells us in his rich new history, "American Nerd: The Story of My People," you're more apt to think of high pants, taped glasses, pocket protectors, and a fondness for math.
Nugent looks back and traces two centuries of nerds and nerd lore, from literature to comedy.
This hour, On Point: That archetypal character, the American Nerd.
Guest host, Jane Clayson:
Benjamin Nugent, author of "American Nerd: The Story of My People." He has written for The New York Times Magazine, Time, New York, and n+1.
This program aired on June 30, 2008.