9 Words That People Think Make Them Sound Smart…But Don’t

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Trivial Diversions

9 Words That People Think Make Them Sound Smart…But Don’t

9 Words That People Think Make Them Sound Smart…But Don’t

People do a lot of odd things with the purpose of showing off. Sometimes “big” or “official” sounding words can harm rather than help in these cases, in which people opt for a usage that’s just a little off…

Utilize

Just say “use.” It means the same thing, only it’s two syllables shorter. Lots of people in positions of authority like to use this word because it makes them sound like they know what they’re doing. Now you know it reveals the opposite…at least in terms of the English language.

Explicate

People often put this in for the word “explain,” but they actually mean two different (albeit similar) things. Explicating has more to do with analysis, while explaining is more about making your thoughts or an idea clear to someone else.

Communicated

This is a fine old word to use, but if you’re substituting “she said” with “she communicated” because you feel like you’ve overused the word said in whatever you’re writing, resist the urge. It’s clunky and means the same thing.

Insofar

Again, use this word appropriately and you’re golden, but some people through it around just so they can scratch their heads and twiddle their moustaches “thoughtfully.” For instance, throwing it at the beginning of an isolated, declarative sentence because they think it means the same thing as “so far.” It doesn’t.

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Ignorant

A person can call you “ignorant” because you are truly ignorant. Others will call you “ignorant” because they’re covering up their own ignorance—it’s the perfect, informed-sounding disguise!

Etcetera

Punctuating a sentence with “etcetera, etcetera” and trailing off while staring into space may make people think that they’re referring to their own, secret wealth of knowledge, but others will look upon it as running out of supporting evidence for the original point.

Subsequently

In casual conversation, there’s no real need to put in words used most commonly in criminal law. Just say “after.”

Literally

People tend to make statements with this word that are rarely true, like, “I am literally the worst person on the planet.” For someone to “literally” be the worst person on the planet, they’d have some pretty stiff competition to reckon with.

Curate

Curators at museums can go ahead and curate their days away, but your average bar going on about its “curated” wine list just sounds silly.

Related topics english language, literally, sounding smart, words
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