I get lots of email from other geeks. Most of them are friendly and often include suggestions for what should be on the test. Some of them find spelling typos or errors in my code. In general, I appreciate this correspondance from strangers and am flattered that people want to write to me in the first place. It really makes me feel like a geek with a purpose.
Every once in a while, I'll get a really strange, funny, nice or offensive email. Sometimes it's a combination. These are the ones I've included here for your enjoyment. I was tempted to post the email addresses from the more offensive flame mails, but I have chosen to make up names or email addresses for them instead. It's a little bit of therapy for me.
All of these emails remain (sometimes painfully) unedited, including the subject line and the date. They are all real. I should note that I set up a filter in 2004 that deleted all email without "geektest" in the subject line, so all of the email since then has that in the subject.
Scroll down to see them all or click below to jump to one:
"You're a fascist, self involved, sterotipical, biased against humanities, Fop."
Answers to my Clone Troopers/ Storm Troopers question
Offended by the "I have... glasses" question
"I encountered an error of idiom."
"Please specific the boiling point..."
"Your test is screwing us."
"Are you an IE geek? Yuck!"
"Go well and prosper."
"I collect elements"
"Asian geeks are the alphas of all time."
Swirly victim seeks advice
GREAT GEEK OF WORLD
From: "Liz Psychobutt" <email@example.com>
Subject: You're a fascist, self involved, sterotipical, biased against humanities, Fop.
Date: May 31, 2003
To whoever made up this "geek" quiz thing,
I got a 22.48521% on your quiz. Now, I'm not complaing, mind you, but I really think there are more things to use in your consideration of scoring. ALOT more.
I have read Shakespeare and Jane Austen and Dickens and Byron and Shelly and Keats and Wordsworth and Coleridge and James Joyce and Pullman and Tolkien (YEAH!) and CS Lewis and Beowolfe and Canturbury Tales and the Kalevala and Twain and Shaw and Dickenson and Billy Collins and Frost and William Carlos Williams and ...(umm, wait a sec, i have to go look at my bookcase [300+ books and those are just mine, not my parents])... Steinbeck and Salinger and Gordemir and Swift and Yeats and Reinaldo Arenas and Gregorio Lopez y Fuentes and Oscar Wilde and Camus and Kierkregard and Tolstoy and Locke and Sarte and so many, many more that I couldn't possible remember all of them, all of my own freewill. I bet you don't even know who half those people, are, much less have read something of all of them. Instead of the usual kiddy books, my dad read me Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's "Sherlock Holmes," the COMPLETE works when I was a kid. You didn't include nearly enough of the "book geek" element in your quiz. You also didn't have enough of the "humanities geek" meaning history/politics. I know so much about US/world history and politics. I fantasize and think about that stuff ALL the time. You also left out the art geek. My walls are covered in Van Gogh and Vermeer and Renoir and Bottichelli and Monet and Manet and Rembrant and Da Vinchi and Michalngelo and Rafael and Carevaggio and Bernini and Degas and Picasso and Matisse and Velazquez and Cezanne and ... God, I don't know how many more others. And how about the old music/jazz/classical geek? I listen to more opera than you could possible know about. I listen to Verdi and Mozart and Bach and Brahams and Beethoven and Puccini and Copeland and Billie Holiday and Ella Fizgerald and Diane Krall and Simon and Garfunkel and the Beatles and Gershwin and Cole Porter and Berlin and Rogers and Hammerstein and Yo Yo Ma and Itzack Stern and movie soundtracks. And what about the movie/TV geek (besides star trek and star wars)? I love movies so much, and go all the time, and drag other people along. I know about the movie business, past and present than many people. I rent movies like every night. I've watched more foreign and indie films than you can shake a stick at. Do you know who made "Life is Beautiful" or who Ray is or what started Scarceness' career, or about magic realism? I can spend hours looking at movies. I know about TV too, like who writes for "The West Wing" and which is the better documentaries maker Ric or Ken Burns. I can spend even longer in a book store or library.
You're geek quiz is ridiculously biased toward the math/science/gaming/ fantasy geek. What about all the book/music/art/history/politcs/movie geeks out there? Don't they deserve just as much recognition as geeks as the math/science one do? Huh? HUH, you fascist, biased geek man?
Please fix this huge error in your quiz. It will make judging who is a geek and who is not very fair. Thank you.
A very digruntled book/music/art/history/politics/movie FEMALE geek
PS: Do you know what "fop" means? Huh? Do you? 'Cuase I do. Maybe you should look it up.
Dear Miss Psychobutt,
Your spelling is atrocious. As a female geek with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English, I hereby revoke your Geek Test score. How's that for fair?
By the way, I looked up "fop" as you instructed. Here is the definition according to dictionary.com: A man who is preoccupied with and often vain about his clothes and manners; a dandy. Well, thank you very much for asking me to look that up. I'll be sure to let my husband know that our marriage was not legal because I am also a man.
This next one came in response to a question I posed on the front page of my site around the release of Star Wars Episode III. The question I asked was "When did Clone troopers start to be called Storm Troopers?" I love Star Wars, but I haven't gone too in-depth with the universe of prequel and sequel books (or any of the fanfic out there), so this seemed like a valid question that many casual fans might be interested in knowing. I was not aware how stupid I was to not already know the answer! Wow! I'm glad this guy took his time to draw me a picture.
Pictures help Thog understand.
From: "Like-duh McGee" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: geektest Stormtroopers question
Date: May 31, 2005
It is obviois that clone troopers changed their name to storm troopers when the clones started to be replaced by ordinary soldiers. The storm troopers in the first movies (4-6) are not clones.
How can that be hard to understand? I made this picture below to make sure you do not fail to comprehend!
Clone troopers Ordinary soldiers replacing Storm troopers
_______________ Clone troopers _______________
| Clones |________________________\| Ordinary humans |
|_____________ | /|______________|
---===< Obvious Conclusion >===------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Clone troopers never changed name to storm troopers, the clone troopers were replaced by storm troopers!
I read a book taking place after the (first) death of the emperor when grand admiral thrawn were rallying the empire forces in the outer rim. He discovered the location of the "lost" clone fleet wich indicates a major part of the clone trooper fleet were somehow lost after the clone wars.
Here's another response that is informative, mildly offensive, and amusing. Wait, unless "krap" does not mean the same thing as "crap?"
From: "Patti B. Krappin " <email@example.com>
Subject: geektest Stormtroopers question
Date: September 4, 2005
Stormtroopers are the Clonetroopers left over from the clone wars plus non-clone recruits.
Hope that helps.
p.s. I didn't take your test. I'm too much of a geek to waste time on that kinda krap. I do like the green on black motif though. Reminds me of the good ol' days. Ya gonna make an amber on black motif too? (~8
From: "Josephine Stalwart" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: February 9, 2005
Esteemed Webmistress -
I am currently employed as a low-level word geek (copy editor at a large publishing house), and while browsing through your site, specifically the Home/Welcome page for the Forum, I encountered an error of idiom. In the first paragraph, the term "hair brained" should properly be "harebrained," as it refers to the supposed foolishness or madness of hares, as in rabbits, and not to hirsute grey matter. Please don't take offense--I know unsolicited corrections can be a pain--I just love language foibles and couldn't resist a chance to geek out on the acknowledged Mistress of Geek.
Best of luck with the site, and may your grasp of grammar never slip.
I am humbled by your idiomatic knowledge. Thank you for writing. I love corrective emails like that. You know, ones where the author doesn't call me a bitch, asshole or fop!
From: "poorsod" <email@example.com>
Date: June 8, 2005
I found your 'I have... glasses' question in your geektest offensive and bitchy. Do you have a long-term vendetta against the short-sighted people of the world? It's not as if they wear them for fun. Or were you bullied at school because of your specs? If so, it's no reason to go insulting those who are also afflicted with the problem. Keep your problems to yourself, stupid bitch. Is it too much to ask to just remove that question?
You have far too much time on your hands. Get a life. And some friends.
I actually wanted to wear glasses when I was in elementary school so badly that my mother almost bought me a pair with plain glass in them. I started wearing glasses (for real) when I was nine years old, and got contacts a few years later. Nobody teased me because I wore glasses. I am very near-sighted (I would say "blind as a bat," but I don't want to offend my vampire friends who are not near-sighted).
You must have rolled a really low charisma score before sending that email. I mean, I might have seriously considered your request if you hadn't called me a stupid bitch.
Let's take a closer look at who needs to get a life, shall we? You wrote to a total stranger because you were offended by question number 400-something on a 507-point geek test. Um, yeah. Personally, I think that are plenty of other questions that could be more offensive than that one. What about scoring higher for wearing Spock ears permanently due to plastic surgery? It's not like those people have a choice, either.
But it's still worth a point on the test, and so is wearing glasses. The first amendment to the constitution has been BROUGHT.
*update* I got this nice email in response to this one:
From: "Catherine" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: January 27, 2006
I wanted to e-mail you having seen the e-mail page of your website, especially after seeing the e-mail from poorsod.
I wear glasses and have done since the age of 6. I was bullied badly for years at school for wearing glasses and being "the geek" but I do not see your question bitchy in any way at all. I am proud of being a geek and of wearing glasses, and being proud is the only way I can get back at those kids who really hurt me.
I did not feel insulted in any way, I wear glasses, it's who I am...why not be proud of it?
I love the geek test and your website, keep up the good work :D
I think that being proud of wearing glasses is a wonderful example of how to embrace your inner geek. You are a nice person. Thank you for writing.
From: "Trevor Lostit" <email@example.com>
Subject: boiling point
Date: August 8, 2003
Please specific the boiling point of what when it comes to different temperature scales. Please add "lost your virginity at a gaming convention/band camp"
Drama School Registrar
Hairy Hippo Drama, Inc.
ph: 202-555-5674 fx: 202-555-2981
Sometimes, I just get confused by emails. Then, after I spend time trying to figure out what the heck the person was trying to say, I wonder why I just spent my time trying to figure it out. Maybe it's just my casual attention to grammar or my desire to sound like an intelligent human being that makes me read email before I click "send."
From: "Concerned Ed " <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: April 18, 2005
Your test is screwing us. We work with a fellow who claims to be a geek and who we claim is not a geek. We are largely regarded as geeks and do not believe that just anyone is entitled to invade our cloistered society. The problem is, he has scored geekier on the geektest than everyone but one person in our group. I am that person and refuse to take the geektest because (1) I am a geek and (2) the test, in my opinion, artificially emphasizes aspects of life (computer gaming, videogames, etc.) that are irrelevant to me because of my age (I am 55-I owned a circular slide rule with its own pocket protector and a periodic table of the elements for heaven's sakes, but there were no computer games when I was in my formative geek years and I never really developed an interest in them). I probably cannot beat his score with the test as it is currently configured. The bottom line is that we have taken the position that there are certain factors about this fellow that disqualify him from consideration as a geek altogether. Those factors are: (1) he played football in high school and was the starting tailback on his college football team, (2) when he was 17-18 he was dating a college junior, and (3) he had sex before he was 16. So, O High Webmistress of Geekdom, do you agree with us that these factors disqualify this geek wannabe?
A Concerned Geek Named Ed
Dear Concerned Geek Named Ed,
Thank you for writing and expressing your concern with the bias of the test toward the younger generation. Because of your excellent dedication to the geekhood (proved by actually sending that email), I grant you +15% on your actual score and first place at the office no matter what the others scored. Now you must actually take the test.
If you are so inclined, please get together with other Silver Age geeks and come up with some questions that you agree qualify as points for a higher geek rank. Send them to me. The test is mostly geared toward geeks aged 20-40, and this is simply due to the pool of geek talent available to me. I'll be honest - when I first made the test, I never thought that people outside of my circle of friends would be interested! Suggestions for the test from people who are over 45 and not heavily into technology are rare.
As for your co-worker who scored the highest, you did not mention his score, so it would be hard for me to make an accurate assessment. There are plenty of geeks who can function in normal society with scores of 40%, and many are in fact closet geeks who struggle with their inner geek for many years before truly embracing it. Given the facts, I would say that this is the case. Or, perhaps more likely, he is lying on the test or about his "normal" history. Did you ask who he had sex with before age 16? Was it a cheerleader or a fellow geek? Did they meet over IRC? These are important facts to know before making a true judgement. Have fun, and thanks again for writing.
From: "Burlap Phil" <email@example.com>
Subject: geektest Burlap!
Date: September 24, 2004
Burlap! Why's there no burlap questions? :P
for the refreshing smell
I once sat around the house with a couple of friends one Sunday night and we made a robe (hood and all) out of burlap... I wore it to school the next day... and then around town after school...
I was in burlap for about 10 hours straight.
I, uh... burlap?
Maybe if you had asked "why are there" instead of "why's there" I would have considered the topic for the Geek Test. Right now, I'm still trying to understand your desire to wear burlap for ten hours. Perhaps it's better if I didn't think about it too much.
From: "Eyal Snobbie" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: Are you an IE geek? Yuck!
Date: August 31, 2004
What kind of a geek web page shows correctly only in Internet Explorer? I typically use Mozilla (1.7) or Opera (6.05), and both show the page with a white background and a very small, nearly unreadable font. It only shows green on black and is readable on IE. I even got a point for trying to read the source just cause I hoped it'd be more readable that way (that was before I tried IE). Shame on you.
I'm not really a computer geek. So nyah.
The good news is that I've become a lot more knowledgeable in web design, so this new version of the site should work well across the board. If it doesn't, I know that I'll be snootily informed, and then I can work on fixing it. Actually, I appreciate other geeks letting me know when there is something that isn't working for them... as long as they don't insist on shaming me! I may be a geek, but I'm also human. Go figure.
From: "South Africa Clinton" <email@example.com>
Date: May 5, 2005
U rock! - thanks 4 being a geek.
Go well and prosper.
Social Science Trekkie Geek from South Africa
Clinton Namewithheld (Owner/Manager)
Some Computer Company
- Service Driven Technology -
Tel. 555-5558746 / Cell. 555 555 6852
PC Hardware and Software Sales - Onsite IT Support - Networking - Laptops - Consumables - Business Solutions
You're welcome. But... are you really a trekkie if you say "go well and prosper?" Or do they dub the line for South Africans? Either way, I appreciate your well wishes, and I hope that you both live and go well and prosper.
By the way... Perhaps you should hire an administrative assistant who is able to type quickly enough to compose emails for you using full English. The only circumstances under which I would approve of correspondence utilizing "U" instead of "you" and "4" instead of "for" are as follows:
In any case, thanks for taking the time to write, even in your own unique way.
From: "Candy Jekyll-Hyde" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: October 14, 2004
As I was taking the geektest, I noticed there were several questions about collecting things (such as comics, figurines, etc). There was also a question for people who know the symbols of 10+ elements. This got me thinking: There should be an option for people who collect elements, with extra points if they used electrolysis to separate elements themselves.
This means I should get extra points, because not only do I collect elements, but I make some of them myself from mineral salts and what not, using some batteries to electrolyze them myself, including dangerous elements like potassium. Truly a geeky activity. :)
Dear Ms. Jekyll-Hyde,
I hope that I have not offended you in any way. You are a dear friend and I would not cross you. It is with great respect that I make this request: please do not try any of your self-electrolyzed concoctions on yourself. Get some lab rats or frat boys and do some tests first.
From: "Kerri" <email@example.com>
Date: November 15, 2004
Took the test. Loved it. Spread it around. Had a University Professor who taught math/statistics to graduate students only get 35.03572%. Disappointing.
Wanted to ask you why being Asian isn't worthy of a little box. Asian geeks are the Alphas of all time. Also, apparently this isn't a good day for personal pronouns.
Thanks for a great test.
After reading your email, I asked my Sumo wrestler friend what he thought about adding a few points to his geek score for being Asian. He disagreed. I'm sorry it's taken so long for me to respond - I've been in the hospital after "falling down the stairs" at Sushiyama's place.
From: "MFC" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: November 15, 2004
Hey! Your geektest sucks! It's just a bunch of crappy javascrpit thrown together! It doesn't work in Opera (7), although it works in IE - how UNgeeky is THAT?!!?! It must work in Lynx!!! And I didn't even bother taking the test in IE since the font size in this test is SO SMALL, plus you've used a SERIF font for that!!! Geez, what's up with you guys?? A requirement to use a 1024x768??? For a TEXT PAGE???? FRAMES??? Give me a break.
What is javascrpit? You'll have to explain it to Sushiyama, who is coming over to your place tomorrow. I think he was offended by you referring to the Geek Test in your subject line as a "Gooktest." I hope you have a good a55h0le insurance policy.
From: "Dillon Connolly" <email@example.com>
Date: April 28, 2006
Hey, I scored extreme geek on the test. That must be why I got a swirly after class and was thrown in the dumpster then beat up and stuff in my locker.
First of all, congratulations on your high score on the Geek Test!
I do not, however, think that your test score led directly to your new hairstyle or being "beat up and stuff." If this bullying did, in fact, occur, I would guess that you instigated it by writing an "anonymous" email to your local bullies, who of course could see your full name and email address just like I can.
By the way, everybody knows that being thrown in a dumpster and stuffed in a locker are two exclusive bully tactics that are never used together. Or did you mean to say that you were "beat up and stuff" while in your locker? It's so hard to tell from your poorly formed sentence! Regardless of your lack of respect for the English language, I understand that you are seeking advice and I will try to give counsel.
To prevent yourself from fabricating stories for the benefit of a strangers in the future, I recommend that you limit your time on the internet and read some self-help books about overcoming the victim mentality.
From: "ASHISH KUMAR RANJAN" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: MAKING OF ANOTHER GEEK
Date: November 4, 2008
HI I WANT TO BE THE GREAT GEEK OF WORLD ,WILL YOU HELP ME OUT ?
ASHISH KUMAR RANJAN
No. Try asking Oprah.
Okay, I'll give you one tip: You will never be GREAT GEEK OF WORLD until you learn how to turn off caps lock. I mean, dude, you're like the Shouting Guy from Dilbert.