intellectual snobbery? Watch

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butterfly_girl_5
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#101
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#101
(Original post by chad_ch)
but the point I'm trying to make is that you don't need to use the "best" way of expressing yourself. just take david cameron. he is a bloody clever man, thats clear for all to see but then he writes articles like this: http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/com...cle4258140.ece

he writes like an illiterate man to get his point across to the masses and frabkly, it works. also, Emma is rubbish, awful book. I read it for English Lit and it was god awful. if you talked to me about, I'd walk away no matter how elequountly you talked about it. :-)

and take solace in one thought: if you were really clever, you'd be doing a science.
but thats the point- he choses to speak like an illiterate because its a way of conveying what he has to say even better than if he says it explicitly. but perhaps you could talk about that as a rhetorical device in a speech- Im not going to use a certain technique when Im having a conversation.

and with Emma- if you studied it thats slightly different to just reading it and brushing it off- you had a chance for it to grow on you and you probably wished you did like it since you had to do it.

but fair points
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butterfly_girl_5
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#102
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#102
(Original post by chantilly)
I don't really understand the problem. Do you feel frustrated that you can't communicate with others?

I understand that you are an English student but I find it very hard to understand what you say or the point you are trying to make
dont worry- my parents had trouble to when I tried to talk to them about it
I think im just too muddled about the whole thing tbh
I think the particular experience I had which triggered this was that one of my friends is a very muddled irrational person and she likes to think shes 'academic' because she likes reading (which she does) but shes clearly not interested academic discussion-I've seen that on many occasions.

that was the original problem- Ive decided with her I just have to be careful what I say so as not to hurt her feelings because she is quite insecure and unable to be rational

with regards to my own intellect/ what is academia, there probably isnt anything more to say, I'll just have to read more and see how my mind develops
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butterfly_girl_5
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#103
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#103
(Original post by Glutamic Acid)
I don't get what you mean. About not using, shock horror, "big words"? Or about the fact that everyone wants to read Okay magazine and similar works?
I think he was imitating the mentality of people who talk about 'big words' and read OK magasine to make the point that this is how a lot of people think, hence why they dont seem open to 'academia'
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butterfly_girl_5
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#104
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#104
(Original post by jismith1989)
I accept your point; it is hard to be proud of academia. But equally, when talking to people who do not inhabit an academic world, it is best to not perform an academic mating dance with terms, as of course they are not going to understand what you are talking about, and thus get bored quite quickly. There is a real skill in translating complex ideas into a more vernacular idiom: and it is a very worthwhile skill to have.

P.S. the word is self-congratulatory, if someone hasn't already mentioned it.
lol-
yes you put that quite well
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butterfly_girl_5
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#105
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#105
(Original post by shootbangfire)
I'll surely get neg repped for this, but, "like my friend who's dyslexic." Also interested and concerned about this, not with this.
ill give you a positive rep tomorrow if you like :p:

I think that made a good point about how I need to get my mind together before I start a debate like this
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butterfly_girl_5
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#106
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#106
(Original post by J_H123698)
most students are full of it

'i go to uni, i spent more time in education than you, therefore my view means more than yours does'

which of course, is utter ****e
generally yes
but not about the subject they study full time- which is more what this is about
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Glutamic Acid
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#107
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#107
(Original post by butterfly_girl_5)
I think he was imitating the mentality of people who talk about 'big words' and read OK magasine to make the point that this is how a lot of people think, hence why they dont seem open to 'academia'
Ah, I see. I've read some of his other posts so I was thought he was genuinely being an idiot.
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butterfly_girl_5
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#108
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#108
(Original post by Master Polhem)
Ok **** Shakespeare for a moment you are all getting too hung up on him and disregarding the point I was trying to make. I could have chosen any other author of learned man/woman take Roy Jenkins - but I chose Shakespeare for arguments sake. Hence **** Shakespeare he is irrelevant.

What my point was in reference to was this " if you were truly clever you'd be able to get your points across without using long words and complex syntax." told by Ches_ch or whatever his ****ing nickname is. It is such a remarkably stupid statement that I had to patronise it into submission because it is plain wrong.
I dont quite understand your opinion on this,

but doing what shakespeare did- convey very difficult & complex ideas clearly and effectively takes a lot more literary brilliance than talking about complex ideas in a complex way

lots of great writers- Milton, TS Eliot and Thomas Mann come to mind- talk about things in a way even very clever people just dont get at all- it doesnt make what their saying less worthy, but arguably they arent as great as Shakespeare for that reason
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Greatleysteg
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#109
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#109
(Original post by butterfly_girl_5)
Does anyone find they are accused of this/worry they are guilty of this/find this widespread in the 'oxbridge' culture?

I notice with a lot of my friends that even though we share a genuine interest in reading books & literature, when I talk about what I would call 'academic' like using words like intertextuality or narrative structure to talk about a book I like they zone out. and people think im a geek for liking reading books about critical theory

thats fine with me, but what I find difficult is how its a no-go area to say 'youre not interested in academic thinking or looking at or reading literature in an academic way.' even though a lot of people I talk to are dismissive of books or poetry all together because they assume theyre not clever enough or they accuse it of not having an exciting plot/not being written in a way they can understand. my experience of a lot of people my age (18) and young people is they dont try to understand this phenomenon called 'academia' but then form a rather hostile attitude to 'academics' and talk about 'clever' and 'not clever' people in terms of 'us' and 'them'

I have to say, having grown up in oxford I do find something rather self satisfied in academics and self-congratulatoriness (if thats a word) w regards to peoples own intelligence or academic achievement. I worry that I am becoming prone to this sort of snobbery as Ive developped my intellectual abilities- I want to be interested in academia and using critical awareness when reading for its own sake, not to feel selg-important

what do people think?
Don't worry about it, it's just who you are. In my English lessons, I had all sorts shouted at me along the lines of "speak in English" and "shut up" and "stop trying to be a 50yo English postgraduate."

Don't be so paranoid/neurotic, it happens to loads of us.
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Greatleysteg
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#110
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#110
(Original post by jismith1989)
I accept your point; it is hard to be proud of academia. But equally, when talking to people who do not inhabit an academic world, it is best to not perform an academic mating dance with terms, as of course they are not going to understand what you are talking about, and thus get bored quite quickly. There is a real skill in translating complex ideas into a more vernacular idiom: and it is a very worthwhile skill to have.

P.S. the word is self-congratulatory, if someone hasn't already mentioned it.
Self-congratulation, surely, in the context?
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The_Lonely_Goatherd
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#111
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#111
OP, I think I get what you're trying to say and it's good that you're trying to ensure that you don't come across as snobbish (frustrating as it may be)

What I think may have happened with your friend Hannah (though I may be wrong) is that she is interested in literature too, but either doesn't have the same level of interest/knowledge as you or feels that she is intellectually inferior to you (especially as you've got an offer from Oxford... I've found that can sometimes change the dynamic in a group of friends) and doesn't want to engage in lengthy discussions where she feels she may be made to look like an idiot.

So when you use big words on her or try to get into what you consider to be academic discussions, she's either genuinely not interested or she doesn't want to look foolish. When you then claim she's not academic/not interested in academia, she then interprets this as snobbery or you thinking/implying that she's thick.

That's my explanation for it all!

Btw, I don't personally think using long words is a problem or a bad thing, though as others have pointed out, you need to bear in mind whether it's more tactful to use different vocabulary with different people. I always adapt my accent/vocabulary to match the intelligence/accent of the people I'm talking to. That's a bit extreme, but maybe you need to find a nice balance.

In any case (as this thread seems to show), there are always going to be people who think you're a snob because you've got a place at Oxford and are interested in literature at an academic level. Just ignore them
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Master Polhem
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#112
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#112
(Original post by butterfly_girl_5)
I dont quite understand your opinion on this,

but doing what shakespeare did- convey very difficult & complex ideas clearly and effectively takes a lot more literary brilliance than talking about complex ideas in a complex way

lots of great writers- Milton, TS Eliot and Thomas Mann come to mind- talk about things in a way even very clever people just dont get at all- it doesnt make what their saying less worthy, but arguably they arent as great as Shakespeare for that reason
Ohh **** me would you people just drop Shakespeare!
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Lemons
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#113
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#113
I like literature, I like talking about literature and I also have an oxford offer (well, I actually have a place now but whatever), but you still sound very patronising to me. I think I see what you are trying to say but you seem to view those who do not appreciate your talking about English literature as inferior.

It's also somewhat ironic that an English literature student has such bad spelling and grammar. Perhaps instead of looking up long complicated words you should concentrate on learning the shorter ones properly.
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Rudrax
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#114
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#114
In my experience, I think you do have to consider the language you use around different people. Not always because they might not understand it because in most cases it's probably more effective too.
If what you might/are saying might be labelled as 'intellectual snobbery' than use different language around those people who would think so. If you don't care what people think than use whatever language you like At school, I've had to tone down the language sometimes but I still manage to say what I'd like to just as well as if I was talking to my super-genius English Lit teacher, someone who I would pull out all the extended vocabulary with.
As someone has already said, I think, using different language with different people is probably a better sign of being 'intellectual' because it's more effective communication. And I've found that often, using 'simpler' words is often the better choice, academically, simply because of the breadth of interpretation within it when compare to a more definite term which yields less.
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ixivxivi
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#115
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#115
(Original post by butterfly_girl_5)
well yes- part of true wisedom is to recognise your own ignorance certainly
but im talking more specifically about 'other' people- I mean all my friend bar a handful who also have oxbridge offers, and a lot of adults- not of whom are ignorant or philistine- that they perceive me or other 'clever' or academic people as snobbish
Oh for gods sake, having an oxbridge offer does not a clever, interested (and this is how I define people I want to talk to - the fact that they're interested in stuff - science, books, history, art. I accept perhaps this may be what you are trying to get at overall) person make. Neither does being older. Find some decent people, they're generally poking around. My friends at home are just as gloriously geeky as the people I like at oxbridge, and I'd only say that one from oxbridge is significantly cleverer than the ones not. And adults can be nobs just as much as kids (although the particularly nobbish kids seem to have fallen out of interaction with me, but I like to think that this is because they've now gone into horrid dead-end lives as punishment ).

EDIT: Although, I guess your remark was about your specific friends, not perhaps people in general, so massive outburst on my part was uncalled for. Ach well.
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Mr Otter
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#116
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#116
(Original post by Master Polhem)
What my point was in reference to was this " if you were truly clever you'd be able to get your points across without using long words and complex syntax." told by Ches_ch or whatever his ****ing nickname is. It is such a remarkably stupid statement that I had to patronise it into submission because it is plain wrong.
Robert Frost.
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Liverpool's Number 9
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#117
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#117
I grew up around a lot of people where if you used certain words you were given the "alright smartass" response. All in jest of course and not everyone, there are actually some very smart lads round here.

My mate was takin the mick today because when the Spanish waitress couldn't understand our scouse accents I asked her in Spanish and she knew what we meant then.

I can speak decent spanish like but I suppose inline with this thread I don't because of the way I feel sometimes doing so and also I don't know if they would want me to or not.

In Spain I always speak Spanish, I consider that courteous.
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ixivxivi
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#118
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#118
And in response to the OP's prob (although I'm not all that sure I'm getting the correct end of the stick), your friends sound as though maybe they just have different interests? I study a science at uni, but do my best to be comprehensible/stop if I see faces glazing over with boredom if I'm explaining something to a lay person. So there's the fact that they might have different interests.

But as to (what I think is) your point in general - that the general populace aint' interested in all sorts geeky - well, I think that's probably true, but it's reasonably easy to socialise with the geeky people (and it's frequently fun to attack strangers at the bar by being geeky at them. I've stopped a little now after being scienced-out a bit by the degree stuff, but I used to go into science/book mode when drunk. People seemed to find it mildly scary, but also interesting/unusual/individual... One guy I did this too said it'd been enjoyable "intellectually sparring" with me :rofl:. So don't underestimate the general public, or at least the fun you can have on them).

So, basically, my advice:
  1. be yourself - be as geeky as you want. Those it turns away are probably not going to be interesting to you
  2. But don't bore people :p:. Be aware of the signs
  3. Accumulate a geeky core of people around you. Especially people cleverer than you to just keep aware the fact that you are very small in relation to All Knowledge
  4. You're going to Oxbridge as a student in a couple of months = there should be enough geekiness to keep you more than satisfied there :p:
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faber niger
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#119
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#119
(Original post by Greatleysteg)
Self-congratulation, surely, in the context?
Indeed, it was being used as a noun, not an adjective, have a proverbial cookie for being more attentive than I. :p:
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faber niger
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#120
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#120
(Original post by butterfly_girl_5)
lol-
yes you put that quite well
Why thank you. As a mere pleb, I treasure praise from such an intelligent Oxonian as yourself, with all your A*s and such. :p:
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