The Words That Make People Sound Smarter and the Ones That Just Make You Sound Pretentious
A study has found that the #1 word that makes people SOUND smart is "articulate." But it's also one of the Top 10 words that make people sound pretentious. "Faux pas" is #1 on that list.
The language tutoring app Preply recently conducted a study on the words that people use to make themselves sound SMARTER . . . and the ones that they may THINK make them sound smart, but they actually sound PRETENTIOUS.
The #1 word that makes people sound smart is "articulate."
The rest of the Top 10 are:
Accolade . . . brevity . . . anomaly . . . adulation . . . abysmal . . . candor . . . adept . . . exacerbate . . . and vernacular.
After that, at #11, is "caveat," followed by vacillate . . . juxtapose . . . aesthetic . . . ambiguous . . . quintessential . . . adequate . . . fastidious . . . repertoire . . . and misnomer.
The problem with using fancy words like these is: They can also make you sound PRETENTIOUS. And there's a decent amount of overlap.
The #1 word that makes people sound pretentious is "Faux pas," followed by:
Audacious . . . caveat . . . bonafide . . . chic . . . brevity . . . touché . . . adulation . . . articulate, which was #1 on the smart list . . .
Candor . . . aesthetic . . . ambiguous . . . cavalier . . . capitalize . . . abysmal . . . concur . . . juxtapose . . . wunderkind . . . accolade . . . and conundrum.
Here are five other findings from the study:
1. 56% of people say they usually assume someone with a complex vocabulary is smart. And 78% say big, complex words can make someone seem smarter.
2. But they have to use the word CORRECTLY. 58% of people admit to using a word they didn't know the meaning of to sound smarter.
3. 68% of people say they have intentionally used complex words to impress someone. 63% have done it to impress a date, while 70% have done it at work.
4. But only 35% of people say big words in everyday conversation impresses them. 58% say it annoys or bothers them.
5. 43% of people say they've heard someone use words like this and thought the person was trying to sound smarter than they are . . . and 28% think someone with a complex vocabulary is insecure.