Five Ways to Pretend You’re Smart

So there are people out there who are really good at pretending to be smart. That is pretty impressive because it is probably harder than actually being smart. It takes a lot of work to pass yourself off as a thinker. After much study, I’ve nailed down some of the most effective “pretend to be smart” techniques. Here are five sure-fire methods to make non-smart people appear the complete opposite.

1. Select a personal “smart” keyword and use it often

A “smart” word is usually an at least somewhat complex word that most will assume those who use it have read a lot of scholarly books or gone to college to earn a doctorate. There are a lot of these keywords such as postmodern, paradox, anathema, quixotic, basically, etc. The process of finding your own “smart” keyword takes patience. After picking out a likely candidate, try it out on some friends. If they just laugh in your face, you know you need to keep looking. A good dictionary is a great tool for this process. After settling on a word, you might even want to give it your own weird pronunciation. That will definitely give you extra smart points.

2. Use eloquence to mask your ignorance

If you learn how to talk and write well, you don’t actually have to know what you are talking about. With a great turn of phrase or a string of really impressive words, people will believe you no matter what. They’ll be all, “Wow, that’s sounds really cool so it must be true” or “I have no idea what he/she just said but he/she sounds like he/she knows his/her stuff so I’ll go with that.” If you’re lucky, listeners won’t think about what you just said and put two and two together later on.

3. Practice frequent use of semi-colons in everything you write

Semi-colons are the key to pretending to be a smart writer; they are the smart person’s punctuation; what elegance; the semi-colon, it sits so intelligent like in between those sentences; there is so much to love: a semi and a colon; It’s like you’re saying this and the natural result is that; it’s a period reclining on a chair thinking about stuff; if you are really dedicated to pretending to be smart, don’t overuse it or you’ll just look pretentious; a good rule of thumb is about once every 50-80 words;;;

4. Be as modest about your intelligence as possible

It is widely known that those people who claim not to be smart, are usually the smartest people around. So never claim to be smart. Always say you’re not smart. The best thing you can do is to tell people that you know absolutely nothing. When you say that, people think you’re actually a genius.

5. Carry a staff (Preferably a wizard’s staff)

There is something about walking around with a staff that makes people radiate wisdom and knowledge. And the wisest and most knowledgeable of these staff walkers are wizards. Any long, wooden staff will do. However, to be truly effective one should make it as much like an authentic Gandalf the Grey or White staff as possible. If you opt for the Grey staff, you’re still getting the wisest wizard of all time. Take that Saruman!

Ben Plunkett

Greetings from the booming metropolis that is Pleasant View, Tennessee. I am a man of constant spiritual highs and spiritual lows. I pray that I serve God at my highest even when I am lowest. Ben was a founding member of Rambling Ever On and a regular contributor and editor until his untimely death in April 2020. We wrote a tribute to him, but the best tribute you can give him would be to read all the wonderful poems, short stories, book reviews, theological essays, and ridiculous satire pieces he wrote for us. Pass them on to others and maybe allow Ben to inspire you to write something yourself.

7 thoughts on “Five Ways to Pretend You’re Smart

  • January 29, 2016 at 10:02 am

    I have found the Wizard’s staff to be the most effective. I also use a Brittish accent whenever possible. That combined with the Wizard staff usually does the trick.

  • January 29, 2016 at 10:28 am

    #2- My dad always told me, “If you can’t dazzle them with your brilliance, baffle them with your BS.” It’s proven highly effective.

  • January 29, 2016 at 11:09 am

    One word that I use all the time in sports that proves how fake smart I am is “narrative”. The narrative about Peyton Manning is wrong or The narrative about 3 Golden St. is changing. What am I saying, though….ESPN overuses this word to be fake smart all the time. Someone should punch some of their guys in the face. Oh and totally agree about the accent thing. The Southern accent, the British accent’s exact opposite, will make you sound fake dumb. Like Jeff Foxworthy says, you don’t want a financial adviser or doctor who talks that way: “What we gone do is, saw the top half of your head off, root around in their with a stick and see if we can’t find that dagburn clot.”

  • January 29, 2016 at 12:48 pm

    What an astute and intelligent article! Your words are erudite and life changing; they represent a paradigm shift in my worldview. I am not smart enough to understand everything you wrote, but I am smart enough to know that you know more than I know. And the wizard staff? How perspicacious of you. Bless you Benjamin. Does your astuteness know no bounds?

  • January 31, 2016 at 5:14 pm

    What I would like to know is; did Amy give you that get picture of me?

    I also have two staffs. One of the staffs has a deer antler on the top. I’m quilified.

    Fun read!

  • November 12, 2016 at 7:23 am

    Way to go, Benjamin! Loved it, man.

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