The September edition of The Atlantic contains an article on page 18 titled, "How to Look Smart." It relays survey information and cites research about various ways in which people perceive how smart others are. Some of the findings:
1. Lying about having read classic books was the most popular strategy for appearing smarter. (Calling it Warren Piece is a dead giveaway)
2. Glasses tend to make a person look more intelligent. (I wonder, do cheapie readers count?)
3. The perceived association between alcohol and stupid behavior is so strong that merely holding a beer makes you appear dumber. (Bad news for me!)
4. Lastly, people think using big words makes you appear smart, right? Well, not so fast Kemosahbe. A researcher found the opposite to be true: that using grandiose vocabulary diminished participants' impressions of authors' cerebral capacity. In other words, people in this study not only were not impressed with big words but actually thought writers who use such fancy language were dumber.
However, the most interesting part about this study? The researchers choice of a bombastic, obtuse title: "Consequences of Erudite Vernacular Utilized Irrespective of Necessity". Whew!
Don't be dumb. Keep it simple.