America Needs Its Nerds

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Carlynn Kalament
Ms. Zielinski
AP English Language and Composition
15 December 2011
Leonid Fridman’s “America needs it’s Nerds”
Writer, Leonid Fridman, in his composition, “America needs its Nerds”, declares that the American connotations for “nerd” and “geek” are offensive and should not be used to describe those people who are dedicated to learning. Fridman’s purpose is to convince all of those nerds and geeks to stop being ashamed and accept themselves for who they are. He adopts a sincere, but informative tone to appeal to his audience’s emotions and to inform them of specific facts that he feels his readers should be acquainted with.

Fridman initiates his essay by explaining the denotation of the word geek and the comparing it to the way typical Americans use the word. He continues to explain that this is one of the reasons that those who are “dedicated to the pursuit of knowledge” (9) are ashamed of themselves. He also gives the example that even in prestigious colleges; people are ashamed to admit how much the study due to the idolization of athletes. In fact, only a small amount of the student population at ivy-league schools actually prioritizes their learning.

The author also uses alliteration in his essay. In the very beginning, “intellectually curious and academically serious” (3-4) helps to intrigue his audience. Once he has their attention he gives them some information, and then throws in “nerds are ostracized while athletes are idolized” (17-18) to keep them reading. This not only sounds nice to the reader, but makes them want to know more, thus convincing them to read his elaboration.

Leonid also appeals to pathos in this particular piece of writing. In the middle of his essay he uses the imperative sentence “enough is enough” (28) to make is point obviously clear. Then his tone shifts and he begins to say that the nerds and geeks need to stop being ashamed and stand up for themselves. He uses the example “the bright kid with thick...
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