In a speech last Friday, Dan Akerson, the new CEO at GM slammed the Toyota Prius with the following statement. "We commonly refer to the geek-mobile as the Prius. And I wouldn't be caught dead in a Prius." This led to him extolling the wonders of the Chevy Volt which is their new electric car and, he claims, "actually looks good". So, I checked out this amazing new automobile and not only is it's starting price $40K but I've got to say it's looks are entirely forgettable. My biggest complaint, however is not that he said nasty things about the Prius, but that his way of making it seem like it was the lesser of the two cars was by using the word "Geek".
Although "Geek" once carried with it an air of social stigma it has long since been reclaimed by the very people it was once used to shame. Being a Geek simply means you have a passionate interest in a particular subject and why be ashamed of you passions? The guy who can fix your PC for the bargain price of a pizza and some beer, Computer Geek. Your friend who has an encyclopedic knowledge of every CD released in the last 10 years, Music Geek. That kid who can totally pwn his Dad at Halo, both of them are Gamer Geeks. There is nothing wrong with being called a Geek. I suspect there are more than a few Car Geeks out there who can rattle off torque, horsepower and top speeds for every supercar ever made that might take particular offense at this recent misuse of the term. The only shame this time, however, should rest squarely on Dan Akerson's shoulders.