The Art of Talking and Saying Nothing

We’ve all been that student, called on to answer a question, knowing we had not read the material, but trying our best to sound convincing enough, yet clear we were fooling no one… 

Another place we hear this type of talkage is from politicians. Generally, they’re caught off guard by a general comment or question. They’re not prepared to answer, or they just don’t know what to say and instead of just admitting that they don’t know something – they begin using word gymnastics to try and sound at least knowledgeable to their constituents.

Photo by Volkan Erdek on

Lawyers do this as well. Interestingly it’s when they’re trying to defend the indefensible. The words are bigger, legal jargon is thrown all over the place and the argument is meant to obfuscate rather than to inform or share any real truth about the matter.

This type of verbage always reminds me of the nonsense Damon Wayans as Oswald Bates in the old In Living Color sketches used to spew that were both hilarious and sad in their commentary on several levels. Mostly funny though…

I bring this up as I watch more and more people try and discuss various issues that are clearly beyond their grasp. Whether it’s commenting on Twitter about political issues or in conversations with people who think they understand fully how something works when they do not,  I’m shocked at how hard it is for people to just admit they don’t know something. 

PSA:  It really is okay to say, “I don’t know.”  It’s also admirable to say, “I don’t understand.” 

When did it become a thing to pretend and just go along? I’m shocked by how many people sound so stupid just because they keep trying to be something they’re not. And trying to pull off intelligence when you don’t know what you don’t know is incredibly embarrassing for everyone. Just look at any clips of Jordan Klepper from the Daily Show interviewing CPAC attendants. You almost feel sorry for them… almost. 

If you don’t know something, admit it. If you don’t understand something, just say so!  People will respect you for being honest about what you don’t know and the irony of it all is…you’ll actually look smarter! 

The art of talking about something you do not understand is actually lame. You’re fooling no one. If anything you’re just making yourself look like an idiot. Stop it.

Be smart by keeping your mouth shut. Listening is always a good option.

Till next time,


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