It is no secret that I have an unyielding love for words. I’ve reiterated the fact on many occasions that to me, an extensive vocabulary (and the ability to use words effectively) is akin to foreplay. So today is about two words: IGNORANT and STUPID. Though often used, they are rarely understood.
I’m sure you’re wondering what I’m getting at. Well, I’ve had a few, lets call them, “altercations” in the past over my use of the word “ignorant” to describe someone. The common misconception is that calling someone ignorant is the same as calling them stupid. It’s not. If you don’t understand that, you’re ignorant. If you are offended by that statement, you’re stupid. Wanna know why? Let’s take a look…
IGNORANT Ig”no*rant, a. [F., fr. L. ignorans, -antis, p. pr. of ignorare to be ignorant. 1. Destitute of knowledge; uninstructed or uninformed; untaught; unenlightened. 2. lacking knowledge or information as to a particular subject or fact: ignorant of quantum physics.
STUPID [stoo-pid, styoo‑] adjective, -er, -est, noun –adjective 1. lacking ordinary quickness and keenness of mind; dull. 2. characterized by or proceeding from mental dullness; foolish; senseless. 3. tediously dull, esp. due to lack of meaning or sense; inane; pointless
So if I call you ignorant (and rightly so in many cases), it’s because you are woefully uninformed and lack knowledge. Such as when people leave ignorant comments on my blog posts after taking a word or phrase out of context. If I say, “Rich people suck!”, I really need you to understand that this is an opinion probably based on a bad experience. And that bad experience was probably provided in full detail after my opening statement. Please don’t leave me a diatribe about the philanthropic tendencies of most affluent residents of Bel Air. 1) I don’t care. 2) You are ignorant. 3) You’ve completely missed the point of the post. Want to really piss me off? Lace your diatribe with thinly veiled insults. That makes you stupid. Yeah, STUPID.
Let’s get something straight. I’m fully capable of talking people under the floor. I can belittle you with my words, be purposely condescending, and give you a couple dozen reasons to dislike me. But I choose not to do that. Because it’s pointless and I don’t gain affirmation by making others look bad. There are plenty of people who will oblige you in that regard. I’m just not one of them.
So I’m just asking you to do one thing: READ. No, make that two things: Pick up a dictionary sometime. When you use a word incorrectly, guess how it makes you look?
In our next episode of: How To Use A Dictionary, we tackle the difference between Offended and Insulted. Guess what? They’re not the same either! 😉