Because it’s become so trendy to admit you’re a geek—and because you can now be a geek of things that were formally considered 100% cool (a sports geek, a rock music geek, an organic food geek, etc.)—the word has lost a lot of its meaning.
So there’s an opening for a word to describe people with south-of-mainstream taste. (Nerd doesn’t qualify.)
While you mull over that, mull over this: over the years I’ve come to notice that, whatever else I am, I am also a certain subset of geek—someone who tends to prefer the weaker, lamer, less edgy, or simply less cool member of a famous pair.
It started, appropriately, with me preferring vanilla to chocolate. But in pop culture terms:
Superman vs. Batman – I like Superman better
DC Comics vs. Marvel Comics – DC
Beatles vs. Rolling Stones – Beatles
John Lennon vs. Paul McCartney – McCartney
Fonzie vs. Richie – Richie
Simpsons vs. South Park – Simpsons
Brandon vs. Dylan (90210) – Dylan
Seinfeld vs. Friends – Friends
Bruce Springsteen vs. Billy Joel – Joel (I don’t think many actually size up these two together but I did read a comparison at least once)
The Empire Strikes Back vs. Return of the Jedi – Jedi
This brings me to one pair in which I do prefer the cooler of the two:
Luke Skywalker vs. Han Solo
I trust you can guess which is which.
If you can add any such pairs to the list, please do so in the Comments.