When nerds are depicted on screen, they are often bookworms and wallflowers who struggle to stand up for themselves. That's not the type of nerd Mindy Kaling wanted to focus on in Never Have I Ever, the Netflix series she co-created with Lang Fisher.
Linguist Geoff Nunberg says the word "sensitive" was complicated long before it was political. These days, "sensitivities" can be a stand-in for a lot of different attitudes -- some more defensible than others. Our modern stress on sensitivities, he says, probably set back cultural understanding as much as it has advanced it.