People Share The Time A Wicked Smart Person Had No Common Sense.

As John Dryden once said, "Great wits are sure to madness near allied/ and thin partitions do their bounds divide." Sometimes, very smart people do and say very silly things. These Redditors did a good job reminding us that there is more than way to be intelligent - and an infinite number of ways to be ignorant.

My sister is a well-respected lawyer in our city and runs her own firm. She also thought that she couldn't get sunburnt when driving her convertible "because she was moving.


Have you ever met someone who insists that there is one way to do something and won't entertain any other methods? Usually, they only want to do things the way they were taught and have spent years mastering it. If you introduce a new way (even if it's better) they're intimidated because they doubt their own ability to learn it.

They have learned the rote motions, but not the underlying concepts.


I used to work in a thrift store. One time, we had a customer who wanted to be let in 10 minutes early. We told him no, so he went away and came back when we actually opened. 

He then started ranting to us about how customer service should work, and how we were going to go out of business because we didn't know how to put the customer first. He went on to say that he was smarter than all of us because he went to Harvard.

When he went to check out, he was buying a teacup that was marked $5. He asked me if I could lower the price, and when I told him that all prices are final, he answered with this gem, "It's always no with you people, isn't it?"


Years and years ago, I worked as a hotel front desk agent. It was pretty common to see online bookings come in with an attached guest request, saying something like can you please upgrade us? Or could we get a quiet room please?

But this one guy put in his comments: "I am celebrating my graduation from law school. As such, the upgrade you will provide me is very much appreciated." (continued...)

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Not "I would really love an upgrade" or anything like that. He booked the lowest-tier room in the hotel, expecting that we would automatically upgrade him because hes special and hes entitled to it.

Of course, this happened to be a sold out weekend and we didn't have any upgrades available. He showed up and he checked in with someone else (not me, thankfully). The whole time, he's whining about how there is no upgrade and that we arent giving him what he paid for. (We were. We were giving him exactly what he paid for.)

"So you do nothing for guests celebrating anything?"

"Should I have said I was getting married? Would you have upgraded me then?"

"You're telling me that if Bush walked in here, you wouldn't give him an upgraded room?"

"There's no excuse for this." He said this one a lot

The guy was clearly educated. But he wasnt all that intelligent.


I work for a college. We had a lady come in and flip out on us because we're legally not allowed to give her the details of her child's account. She started saying really awful things about how we just don't care about anything except money.

Yeah, Im not doing this because its making me rich.

When we still refused to literally break the law for her, she went: "I don't need you all ganging up on me. I probably have more degrees than all of you combined."

She said she was a psychologist and thus understood privacy laws, but didn't understand that similar laws exist for education.  We laughed about that one for a while.


We had an office manager several years ago who liked to tell the admin staff that she was better than them because she had a masters degree. In response, I printed off fake degrees for everyone and every object in the office.

My favorite was the one posted on the wall above the water cooler granting the machine a Masters in Hydration from Culligan University.


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I took a class on a subject once, therefore, I know what I'm talking about. - Someone who probably doesnt know what theyre talking about.


"My ACT score was 33."

Thats great, Dennis. But youve set the communal microwave on fire three times because you keep forgetting that your cup is metal.


Im a teacher. One of my colleagues was lunching in the staff room, telling us how she had a tutor from the time she was an infant school up until she finished her degree.

She then went on to argue only capital cities can host the Olympics.


A great example of this is people who argue over pedantic details instead of sticking to the actual topic at hand.

For example, when you're making an argument and the other person responds by criticizing your grammar or your exact use of a word (not a gentle correction, but as evidence that your argument is not valid because you misused a word). They never end up discussing the real idea you presented. They're usually either a) trying to prove their intelligence or b) they doubt their ability to really discuss the subject or c) they're easily distracted by small mistakes.

Either way, an intelligent person can hone in on the underlying meaning of what someone says without getting bogged down by unimportant details.


My friend's ex was the definition of educated but unintelligent. We had a conversation that went something like this:

My husband: You can have good grades and still be stupid.

Ex friend: That's LITERALLY impossible. If you have good grades it means you're smart or you wouldn't get good grades. I have straight As. I am not stupid.

Five minutes later, she proved herself wrong. (continued...)

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Ex friend: Hey I have to deliver a letter to the post office. Lets go over there right now.

Me: But it's 6am on a Sunday.

Ex friend: So?

Me: So they're closed. Why don't you just put it in the mailbox?

Ex friend: There's a check in here to pay my bill. It's almost $150. I'm not putting it in a mailbox. Lets just go to the post office. Theyll be open. I know.


So we went to the post office and watched her shock and awe that the doors were locked. She also asked if we had any stamps and then demanded to know why none of us had spare stamps on us.


My neighbor once told me he went to "Doctor School". That one still gives me pause.


I love how many supposedly very smart people lack basic life skills like the ability to hang a curtain rod or swap out an air filter. My college roommate didn't know that she had to change the oil in the car her parents gave her.


There's a lot of smart people who have problems once they get to university because they never took the time to develop decent study habits. They coasted through high school on intelligence alone, but hit a brick wall once they realized how much more work university requires. Its way harder to fake your way.


I studied engineering for 2 years in college. Now, don't get me wrong, those were some smart people. I didn't finish the degree; they did.

But most of them were from homes where their parents did EVERYTHING for them and all they did was study. I remember my first month in the dorms was basically about teaching all of these people how to do their laundry.

My second year, some guy got a dog (obviously not living in the dorms anymore.) Shortly after buying it, he called up one night. (continued...)

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He asked me where he could get dog food other than Petsmart.  Um, like any grocery store? 

That guy now earns like four times what I do. It's so frustrating. Not all engineering students are like this obviously, but there were certainly a lot of them.


We had a discussion in one of my first classes in university about what's more immoral: a man who steals money to pay for his wife's medicine because she's about to die, or a man who tricks an elderly rich person with Alzheimers into leaving him a bunch of money money so that he can buy a new Ferrari.

I thought it was a relatively simple question. I think its pretty clear the man who cheated an old dude with Alzheimers is more immoral because all his actions follow pure selfish reasoning.

So I shared my opinion first, and everyone in my group looked kinda confused. They all disagreed and said the other dude was more immoral because he was breaking the law. The other guy was a dirtbag, but he didn't break the law so technically his actions werent immoral.

I decided to keep my mouth shut because they were all pretty determined. But people who equate immorality with illegality scare me.


This is petty, but man do I cringe every time.

My friend who has a masters degree and schooling up the wazoo still pronounces the word specifically as pacifically.

It's not about being smart enough to know the difference. It's about going through all that schooling and still pronouncing basic words wrong. 


I read a column by a veterinarian advising against vaccinating dogs because vaccines have mercury and have been linked to autism in children.

Even though vaccines don't give kids autism, dogs literally can't have autism anyway! But they can get parvovirus, rabies and distemper, all of which will kill a dog.

I don't think he writes for the paper anymore.


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It really bothers me when people cant accept that theyre wrong. An educated person who is not smart will get angry when they are proven wrong and lash out. A smart person accepts that they were wrong, and assimilates the new knowledge. Better yet, they ask questions to figure out exactly how they were proven wrong. A smart person never thinks he knows everything, or knows anything, even within their field. On the flip side, a smart person who knows she is right will figure out how to effectively argue their case.


Most people who are educated or smart (or both) are only skilled in some areas and less so in others.

I have a Ph.D. and Im faculty at a research university. I make a habit of doing 10 stupid things before breakfast every day. Most of colleagues are the same (although few can match me for sheer quantity and quality of idiocy).

One poor fellow I work with is a creationist. He doesn't know what creationism or evolution actually entails, but he is very sure that creationism is the way to go. But he is a statistician.

Try to find a creationist among the ecologists, biologists, geologists, or paleontologists. You will have a much harder time. It is because those scientists know their respective fields, and those fields are relevant to evolution. 

If you are an expert in field A, there is a big chance you are pretty ignorant about fields B thru Z and lack plenty of street knowledge as well.


I dread those people who are still bragging about their GPA years after they graduate. At a certain point GPA doesn't matter, and if your only claim to fame is your GPA, then you had little-to-no success applying that knowledge in a professional setting.


My professor gave me some humbling advice while I was in college. He said a degree is only useful for getting your first job. After that, no future employer cares where you went to school; they care about previous work experience. 

I think he meant that A) don't worry about what degree you have, just focus on learning what you want to learn, and B) don't rely on your degree getting you much farther than your first job.



Edited for clarity. 

We are told that, if you're not confident, you should just "fake it til you make it."

This is great--in theory. In practice, sometimes "faking it" can have extremely real and terrible consequences, which these people found out the hardest of hard ways.

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