Have you ever met that person who tends to speak as if he's a textbook? He regurgitates information, repeating exactly what was written in the source material, but when pressed, proves he doesn't really understand what he's saying.

That would be a pseudo-intellectual. These are the people who tend to boast about their intelligence, only to fall short in certain areas. The people who can't admit they don't know something, who repeat the facts and opinions of public figures, and who pretend to know more than they do for reasons of status.

Chances are, you know someone like this, but it's not always easy to recognize them. Luckily, Reddit has got you covered.

Curious about what signs pseudo-intellectual people exhibit, Redditor PoodleDoodle22 asked:

"What's a sign someone is a pseudo-intellectual?"

For Example...Uh...

"Citing 'countless examples;"

"Can't name one of them."

– Marklar172

"I've seen countless examples of comments where people said "countless examples" and they had them."

"They were all deleted though, but they're very real."

– The_Linguist_LL

My Mind Is Blank

"They like to "debate" but shut down and get angry the second they get an unexpected question or have to think about their answer."

– verysleepymama

"Or they debate and not let anyone else speak, and when someone does try to speak the other person just talks louder and faster."

– usedxtampon

"Those debates are often just reiterating some points or a train of thought they heard on the radio, or read online."

"Source: I do this. BUT, I do it to open up a topic to then hash over with friends."

– PokePounder

I Know What I'm Talking About...Really

"They can't say they don't know something. When pressed, they will deflect or fake their way through it. Somebody actually knowledgeable (no matter in what area) will also know the limits of their knowledge, and have the confidence to identify it when they reach it."

– chton

"This reminds me of my mom's fiance. Says things as if he understands the topic completely and then when gently pressed, completely crumbles and can't form coherent thoughts."

– thr0waway109198

"The biggest difference I noticed between my high school teachers and my college professors was that high school teachers usually (there were exceptions, but not many) insisted on trying to guess an answer to a question they didn't know while my professors are very willing to say "that is outside my area of expertise, and I don't know the answer well, but I'd be happy to direct you to people who do specialize there"

– Aarizonamb

They Don't Understand What It Means

"They refuse to explain something in an easier/more understandable way when asked"

– ctortan

"When you present a correction to their assertion, they tell you you're wrong but can't explain why or they say they don't have time."

– knockinbootz

"At the risk of sounding pseudo-intellectual myself, like Einstein said, “If you can't explain it to a six year old, you don't understand it yourself.”"

– mentalina_at_work

Digging Their Heels In

"They always defend popular opinions with "extremely convinced" and a rigid mindset without doing a critical thinking ever."

– Bobby775


– OldBob10

Name Dropping

"Pseudo-intellectuals love to drop names of famous experts in the field, and will often do that in lieu of a real explanation when challenged to explain themselves."

"For example, "If you're not familiar with the research of Lawrence and Krasden in this field, then it's not worth my time to educate you.""

"In general, pseudo-intellectuals don't like explaining concepts, because they're afraid that they'll explain the concept incorrectly and get shown up by somebody else. So they use all sorts of tactics to establish dominance, try to belittle you, and avoid giving a clearly worded explanation of their argument."

– Bizarre_Protuberance

Blah, Blah, Blah

"they talk constantly and say nothing"

– Bhanghai

"This is my new favorite insult."

– Herpderpkeyblader

High IQ

"When they tell you their IQ. And it's always suspiciously high."

– TrashPandaAntics

"My IQ is yours + 1."

– atari-2700

"Facebook quiz told them so"

– Banana_sorbet

When They Need To Educate THEMSELVES

"They say "educate yourself" but don't know the difference between blind peer reviewed studies and YouTube nonsense."

– notchucknorris83

"Or people who cite blind peer reviewed studies but completely misinterpret them"

– Commercial_Author_13

"Even among the people who do know about peer reviewed papers…reading the abstract and picking out the one sentence that kinda sounds like it’s supporting your point is not the same thing as actually understanding the paper."

– boooooooooo_cowboys

I'm So Smart, I Had To Tell You

"Really intelligent people are very secure in their intelligence but fakers will most likely be trying to put others down to seem smarter."

– prettiergenghis

"This one is the one I've seen multiple times. Confidence is quiet, insecurity is loud."

– SnaxVT

"Not only that but they will try to question your credibility when they themselves dont have any credentials. Or steer the conversation to be one of morals and emotions rather than facts and logic. Just cuz I deconstructed your argument doesnt make me an evil person Emma!"

– Careful_Pickle555·

The pseudo-intellectuals are not a lost cause.

They just need to learn that it's okay not to know something, they need form their own opinions rather than repeating what others say, and that there is nothing special about being the smartest person in the room.

In short, they need to educate themselves!

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