How to Seem Super Smart

In sixth grade, I won the class spelling bee because my esteemed rival tossed a “c” at the beginning of the word “kindergarten.” My victory proved once and for all that I was the smartest kid in the entire class – nay, the world. Shortly thereafter, as I was polishing off my application to Mensa, I discovered she misspelled the word on purpose because she didn’t want her friends to think she was a dork. My runner-up somehow managed to pull off looking both intelligent and awesome. I was officially usurped as smartest kid in the world.

While temporarily deflated, the experience taught me a valuable lesson – the appearance of wisdom is perhaps as important as actual intelligence. I’ve since dedicated my life to smoking out the finest tactics for proving one’s faux genius to the masses.
Here’s how it’s done:

Surround yourself with dummies. Grading on a curve doesn’t just apply to that obscenely difficult Calculus final. If you spend time with a bunch of Ds, your C+ self looks a lot like an A.

Carry around non-fiction books on obscure topics. A hardcover biography of an early nineteenth century Vice President should do the trick.

Insert extra syllables into otherwise perfect vocabulary words. It’s a fact that the longer it takes you to say something the more important it is. Try words and phrases such as “comingle,” “utilize,” or “communicate out.”

Correct people – often and in public. Anyone within ear shot will know you’re the man; plus your coworkers will appreciate it.

Only ask questions to which you already know the answer. This is particularly useful in situations where you haven’t had the opportunity to correct someone for awhile.

Never play Trivial Pursuit. If your friends insist, offer to “ref” so as to not unfairly tip the scales in one team’s direction.

Nod when someone explains something complex. ‘Cause you already know.

Create, then share random statistics that end in odd numbers. 67% of people find them more believable that way.

And if all else fails, never forget that winning by default is still winning and not being wrong is exactly the same thing as being right.

What are your favorite methods of feigning intellect?

About WhiteElephantInTheRoom

I'm an 80s music lover, traveling junkie, mac & cheese connoisseur, amateur wine snob, party-planning priestess and Chicago transplant living in Southern California. I find adventure in the everyday and have a unending compulsion to write about it. Hope you enjoy reading my mind!
This entry was posted in 80s, Commentary, Friends, Humor, Life, Nostalgia, School, Work and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

17 Responses to How to Seem Super Smart

  1. MaximumWage says:

    Never heard of the odd numbered statistics thing.. Makes sense… i shall use it.

  2. Nancy says:

    Oooh, you gave away my “random statistics” secret! Your grandfather taught me that one when I was thrown into a bunch of business/social gatherings. Works every time – unless my business acquaintances are reading your blog 🙂 Fortunately there is only a 7 percent chance of that occurring 😉

  3. i feel smarter already great post, perfect timing too since im on my way to visit my smarty friends at a tuba museum!!

  4. Ha! – Great Post – thanks for sharing! Love the extra syallables trick:) Have a Wonderful Day!

  5. Go Jules Go says:

    “…plus your coworkers will appreciate it.” Ha ha! Feigning intelligence is totally the key to me being able to pay the mortgage. I’ve got all of these suckers duped! There is a lot of smiling and nodding and “Exactlys”…

  6. The Awkward List says:

    Hahaha hilarious!

    I’d rub my chin and pretend to be in deep thought when responding to a question, or making any decision. ANY decision.

    “Hmm.. *rubs chin*.. how can you help me.. ok, I’ll take a number 2 combo, no pickles.”

    Awesome post!


  7. notquiteold says:

    I look smart by watching a lot of reruns on TV. My husband never pays attention, so he often doesn’t recognize the rerun. So halfway through I can say, “I think the bearded dude is the murderer.” He thinks I’m a genius when I’m right.

  8. kitchenmudge says:

    Selective hearing is always good. Only respond when you have a good one-upping response.

  9. DrNikkiBlog says:

    I, too follow a lot of these rules. Gotta love people like us. We rock.

  10. “Carry around non-fiction books on obscure topics.”

    I actually tried this once as a social experiment. I borrowed a medical textbook on anaesthesia from the university library and just carried it around with a randomly-inserted bookmark in it.

    Even though I couldn’t pronounce most of the words in it, carrying it around increased my IQ by about 30 points. More importantly, no one ever asked why I had it; they just assumed that, because I was carrying a three-kilogram medical textbook, I must have been Doogie Howser.

  11. I look smarter by showing up late. Like if someone writes a blog 3 weeks ago, I comment on it now, giving the impression that I was busy working on my Nobel acceptance speech or drawing cartoons for the New Yorker.

  12. so that’s how you all do it :0!

  13. emilija99 says:

    HAHA, love it! Just what I needed!

  14. Mike Lyles says:

    Love your site and love this writing. I will be reading more soon!!! Thank you!!

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