Ambiguous Name: Hollywood Nerd

Total posts: [22]
Continuing the slow, slow cleanup of Hollywood Style tropes, here's a topic close to your heart and mine.

"Hollywood Nerd," like Hollywood Style in general, covers multiple, discrete, contradictory concepts. The first ("Type I") is "stereotypical nerd." Or, nerd archetype. Or, simply, nerd. That's right - we already have "the stereotyped way in which fiction depicts nerds" as its own healthy page.

The second ("Type II") is the opposite. Someone we are told is a nerd via Informed Attribute or a few simple labels like Nerd Glasses, but who otherwise lacks the archetype's features - they are attractive (or Beautiful All Along), they are only nominally unpopular, they are socially capable.

The name's ambiguity and the numbered types hurt the trope. If you say a movie character is an example of a "Hollywood Nerd," that says nothing clear about him, even to those familiar with the page.

The current "Hollywood Nerd" page tries to justify mentioning these two types by saying these are extreme options and fiction offers nothing between them. But fiction offers all kinds of nerds. Black nerds, Asian nerds. Jewish nerds. Sexy nerds. ExtravertedNerds. NerdActionHeroes. We have a whole index of nerd characterizations and signifiers, so no one trope can rightly claim to cover "the way fiction portrays nerds."

I suggest:

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I don't know why Type I is even in here — going by Hollywood Homely, all the "Hollywood X" snowclones should be "an attractive, competent actor is proclaimed to be X with no real justification other than what amounts to a Paper-Thin Disguise".

In this case, including things like Tobey Maguire in the first Spiderman film being treated like a 98 pound weakling before he gets superpowers, despite being... well, Tobey Maguire wearing thick-rimmed glasses.

edited 29th Aug '12 7:17:40 AM by Escher

Several snowclones - Hollywood Homely, Hollywood Dateless, Hollywood Old, Hollywood Pudgy - use that definition. Several others - Hollywood Atheist, Hollywood Autism, Hollywood Nuns, Hollywood Voodoo - use the type II definition. And dozens of other Hollywood snowclones use some other definition altogether.
5 Xtifr30th Aug 2012 12:58:47 AM , Relationship Status: Having tea with Cthulhu
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I'm in favor of splitting and renaming as suggested by OP.
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No misuse, no underuse. Why mess with something that's not causing any problems?
Half of this trope falls under "duplicate trope," which is one reason for a rename. Both halves fall under "ambiguous name," which is another. Take this example (the very first wick when you click on "related"):

  • iCarly: The Seddie (Sam/Freddie) ship seems to lose shippers every time Sam ups the Comedic Sociopathy against Freddie or she bumps her Moral Event Horizon. Examples include throwing Freddie out of a treehouse after delivering to him a harsh beating with a tennis racquet in "iMeet Fred" and running a child labor sweatshop during "iSell Penny Tee's."

What is Freddie? Is he a stereotypical nerd? Is he an attractive actor unconvincingly playing a nerd? We don't know, even after we click the link to see what "Hollywood Nerd" means.

edited 30th Aug '12 7:21:38 AM by Routerie

8 Xtifr30th Aug 2012 01:23:04 PM , Relationship Status: Having tea with Cthulhu
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Hollywood Nerd found in: 692 articles, excluding discussions.

Since January 1, 2012 this article has brought 600 people to the wiki from non-search engine links.

We might need to make this into a disambiguation page or something.
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I suggest Informed Nerdery or Alleged Nerd for type II.
I agree with Routerie (OP). This is blurring with nerd because type 1 is the same as a nerd. It should be changed and the examples should be put where they belong, listed on the nerd page or the faux nerd (Hollywood Nerd) page.
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'Hard split' is making the two types two seperate tropes and 'Rename' is giving the whole thing a different name then Hollywood Nerd but what exactly does Rename type II mean? It would still be on the page with type I but it would say "type II: the pretend nerd?" That's all?
14 nrjxll15th Sep 2012 02:23:12 PM , Relationship Status: Not war
I'm also confused about some of the crowner options.
Is anyone else mildly disturbed that by merging type one with Nerd, we are basically defining nerds as ugly? That's why this trope was separated into the two types in the first place: so we wouldn't be passing judgment on an entire "class" of people.

(I realize there's a lot of possible, reasonable arguments against this; just bringing it up.)
16 nrjxll15th Sep 2012 03:12:45 PM , Relationship Status: Not war
If anything, that's an argument to rename Nerd.
Nerd is already defined like that. Hollywood Nerd type 1 duplicates that definition.

We could rename nerd to "nerd archetype" or something.
@ Leaper - Nerd already says that he's unattractive. Type I just give more details. We're not judging anyone in Real Life, just fictional people.
It looks like merging type 1 with nerd is winning. Are we ready to do it?
We're at 15 to zero in favor of the merge.
21 AnotherDuck7th Oct 2012 02:46:20 AM from Stockholm , Relationship Status: In season
No, the other one.
17 to 0 now. It's a landslide, and not a very recent crowner, so safe to call.

So, that would involve throwing all examples of the first type into Nerd, changing their wicks, and then correcting all type mentions in all wicks?

edited 7th Oct '12 2:47:40 AM by AnotherDuck

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Crowner called. What must be done:

  • Merge Type I and its examples into Nerd.
  • Repurpose Hollywood Nerd as Type II and rename it.
  • Change Hollywood Nerd wicks to the appropriate trope. When unsure, take it to the discussion page explaining the changes.
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Page Action: Hollywood Nerd
11th Sep '12 3:15:59 PM
What would be the best way to fix the page?
At issue:
We have already separated "Hollywood Nerd" into two types. The first type is also covered by our Nerd page. The second type refers to attractive characters who are given nerd signifiers without actually coming off as a nerd.

(Many of the following options are compatible. Vote for all that you support.)

Total posts: 22