Words Dumb People Use To Sound More Intelligent

by Tanya April 27, 2014

I’m noticing that some people use “smart” words without realizing how stupid they sound.

Some of these everyday phrases make the speaker sound unintelligent because they lack originality, or just show mental laziness.

These pseudo-intellectuals are everywhere, but it’s office meetings, where they all come together.

According to  new research, using unnecessarily big words, make people think you’re even dumber.

OK enough with this BS introduction, just start reading already.

So, what are the phrases and words dumb people use to sound more intelligent:

Think outside the box

Which box? Who invented this box? Truly creative people work outside the assumptions (boxes). There is no box, there never was a box and the people who ‘think outside the box’ are the ones who constructed it.

We need to monetize/strategize/analyze/incentivize

When in doubt, stick “-ize” on the end of a word and say we’ve got to  do this and 9 out of 10 times, it will sound action-oriented.

At the end the day…

Is it literally at the end of the day? Or is it at the end of the project? A year? Show that you think while you speak and use the right word.

Talking about “Literally” …

Unless you are the most sarcastic person in the world, all your conversations should be taken literally, so no need to stick it everywhere, or you will come across as illiterate.

We’re customer-focused/proactive/results-oriented/value-add

No shit Sherlock! You are unlike any other company I know.

Language is idealogical and words are bigger than their meaning (I did critical discourse analysis at uni and I loved it).

We are all against inequality yet keep using words, that are inherently unequal.

English grammar dictates that when a group of people have at least one guy in it, they are called “guys”, not “girls”. In reality even if the group is full of girls, they are still called “guys”.

Language is also submissive.

People say: “I work for X company.” For or at? If you work for something, you are a slave.

My ex-manager used to say:” She works for me.” or “They work under me.” It’s WITH, I eventually corrected him.

And to finish the story on a positive note, here is one jargon-heavy job application I found online:

Dear Hiring Manager [hmm…ok]

I have found this job post on job-board, and I’m very interested in your job post involving these skills. [job-job-job; what skills?]

I am seeking a Executive position within your company. My educational background [educational background] and my experience would be an asset to your company and I know that my skills would also be beneficial [also? What else are your skills except beneficial?].

I have rich experience [rich experience] in reporting. Also extensive knowledge [extensive knowledge – yaawn] of law terminology, clinical protocols and statistical analysis software programs used to analyze the data collected provides leverage to my work [I’m already sleeping].

I believe that a combination of my current data analyst skills, comprehension abilities [what does comprehension mean? Sorry, I’m not a native speaker], career history, work experience [ what is the difference between career history and work experience?] and professional attitude all make me a strong contender [? Sorry, I’m too lazy to open up a dictionary] for your job. I can complete this job within the required time period.

Moving forward, I can dedicate 30 hours/week for your job, always working around the clock [don’t we all work around the clock, the clock is always ticking in the background].



Albert Einstein put it just perfectly: “If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough.”

What meaningless nonsense do you dislike?

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The first Millennial blogger in the UK. Twitter @_luckyattitude

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