You know what really sticks in my craw? People who are so smart that they’re dumb. Now please do not misconstrue my musings on this particular subject. I, like most, thoroughly enjoy a good colloquy with one who proves to be most impressive in his or her eruditeness. But at times I fear that one’s vocabulary does not serve as a means to more efficient communication; rather, it acts as a hindrance to it. At times verboseness can be downright deficient and caustic.
But why is it that some people feel it absolutely necessary to prove to everyone else that they are exceptionally highbrow? What are you covering up? It’s like having a nice car. You all know what they say about people who have nice cars: they usually have higher insurance rates. And who wants higher insurance rates, right?
We see these people all the time. They love using their smart talk mumbo jumbo and think that they’re better than the rest of us just because they can talk good. Well, I say this everyone out there: read the beginning of this column. See, I can talk good, too.
It doesn’t matter that it took me about four days to write the first five sentences, and it doesn’t matter that I don’t know what the majority of the words mean. By the way, could someone could help me out and tell me what “caustic” means? I had it pegged as a color, but I could be wrong. What matters is that it sounded good.
Here’s the main question: how smart are you if when you talk, no one can understand what you’re saying? Despite the low approval rating, that is one thing that I’ve got to give President Bush props for. I don’t think there is anyone who has ever misunderstood what he said. Maybe he shouldn’t have said it, but you can bet your grandmamma’s biscuits that everyone understood it.
The purpose of language is to convey information. Sure, a larger vocabulary can help you convey information more efficiently, but there’s a point where it is just ridiculous and it becomes evident that you just like hearing yourself talk. What are you trying to prove? Tell me what you want, smart people, because you just keep talking, and I can’t understand you.
If the language doesn’t convey information, then it is not language. Why do you feel the need to prove to everyone that you know what the word “perspicacious” means? (I believe it’s a form of fried fish indigenous to the Inuit people. Or it could mean clever. I’m just not sure.)
Are you scared that you have nothing else to offer people but your vocabulary? Are you afraid that people won’t respect you if you allow them to understand what you are saying? I guarantee you that the opposite is true.
If you speak in a clear and concise manner, I promise you that you will not only be understood, but people will like you, as well. I know it’s hard. I know we all feel like we have to be talented at something so that people will like us, but sometimes just being a nice person will suffice … I mean, is good enough.
And that’s what really sticks in my craw. Good luck Villanova, and godspeed.