Question of the day.

What are some annoying things that people do to sound/seem intelligent?

My answer:

I haven’t noticed it so much in English, but in Polish it’s specific filler words, and, once you pick up on it, it’s annoying as hell. 😀 Using fillers is generally perceived to be something that not very intelligent people do, and, like I said, I don’t really have a very detailed idea of how exactly it works in English, that is, if some fillers are perceived differently than others and if some people use some fillers more than others, but in Polish we do have some filler words, or maybe not even necessarily fillers as such but words that are very much overused by people who want to be perceived as intelligent –
and often are indeed intelligent but, well, it’s annoying. – I don’t suppose they do it out of some desire to brag or cockiness or something, I guess it’s just something that became a thing with some types of intelligent, or should I say academically successful, people.

Another thing which is less annoying for me personally (because I am guilty of doing it too so that’s probably why I’m more forgiving 😀 ), but is widely perceived as trying to sound more intelligent and intimidates some people is using way more foreign-sounding words/loanwords than necessary – mostly what I’m talking about is a lot of words with Latin or perhaps Greek origins when we have words to use that express the same thing but sound more familiar because they come from the same language group that our language does, so Germanic in English and Slavic in Polish. Why say existence if you can say life, of course in situations when it won’t impact somehow the meaning of what you want to say. Or, in Polish, especially in a workplace setting, why say deadline in English if you can say termin in Polish (oh well, termin is Latin, 😀 but we don’t have anything better and termin is a lot more familiar and home(l)y). As I said, I do that a lot myself, however usually when I do it, it’s consciously and because I want to convey something by using lots of latinisms, like sarcasm for example, or sometimes I just prefer the sound or my synaesthetic associations of a specific Latin word over a more familiar, less sophisticated word. Other times though, I just want to brag with my vocabulary and language skills. 😀 Sometimes I also do something opposite in Polish and use a Slavic equivalent even though a Latin one is more popular, I’ve even made up some neologisms of my own because they sound better to me and I like making up neologisms, and ones which are rooted firmly in the language can be easily understood by others even if they’ve never heard such a word before.

One situation where this gets problematic is I think when you start using latinisms and hellenisms more than necessary all the time without realising and sound VERY clunky and serious and big-headed, and sometimes people don’t even understand exactly what you’re saying. Another is when you use them without really understanding what they mean, especially as an adult and in your native language. And then there is yet another situation where it perhaps isn’t problematic, but, like I said before, can be potentially intimidating for others. 😀

A perfect example is a Polish Catholic YouTuber whom my Mum, Sofi and me (but especially Sofi!) like to watch. We like him because he is a traditional Catholic like us, and he’s also very intelligent and clearly knows a lot about a lot of things and has his brain in the right place, while being humble and able to admit if he was wrong about something and just talking about things from the perspective of a lay person – perhaps well-educated and aware of a lot of things in the world, but without a degree in theology and often not understanding a lot of things. – Plus I like that he has a bit of a different way of presenting things than most Catholic people or media online that I have come across – not a different way of looking at them, but a different way of talking about them that speaks to me more. – Anyway, one thing I don’t like about his channel is how he uses those big words all the time. Yes they do sound better, and he knows what they mean, but his audience is very diverse, and not everyone knows that just because they’re Catholic. Sofi, who is very interested in all that stuff like religion and also politics, and likes to know everything, asks a lot of questions and likes to watch things like that, always says she has to watch his videos with me or Mum so that someone will explain everything to her, because it’s interesting but she doesn’t understand a lot of words. Admittedly, Sofi has a bit limited vocabulary, likely because of being a preemie and generally struggling at school a little, but the things he talks about aren’t usually so difficult that Sofi shouldn’t be able to understand them if they were said in a slightly more approachable way. I remember watching one of his videos last year and was quite confused as to what parousia was, as he was using that word in almost every sentence. Like really, I’d think I have quite a rich vocabulary but I had no clue what that parousia thing was. Finally I figured it out from the context and then looked it up just to make sure, and I was right – it means the second coming of Jesus, at the end of the world – and then when my Mum was watching that video, she had the same problem. And you could just say second coming/Final Judgment. Before we moved to where we live now, we lived in the countryside and our church parish consisted of a few small villages, where most people were farmers or something like that and had enough stuff to deal with in their own daily lives to be concerned with such a thing as language, even though a lot of them – being Kashubs –
were bilingual, and a lot were elderly people. And we had a priest who was a very intelligent, studious man, very eloquent and I guess he must have felt quite out of place in there and would have probably been able to use his talents better with theology students or something. He had a weird way of saying everything in such a way that it seemed extremely complicated. Even my Mum’s family – who are relatively intellectual people, my maternal grandparents were both born to intelligentsia families (I only recently learned that the word intelligentsia works in English 😀 ) – were often complaining of not understanding his sermons. I was a child and teenager then and the one thing I remember about him most clearly is that he used the word exegesis extremely often in his sermons, and no one could tell me what it was. I still don’t think I’d be able to use it naturally in any sentence other than something like the one I just wrote, even though I have a basic idea of what it is. 😀

Oh yeah, and, in Polish, the nasal vowels can make you sound more intelligent or less intelligent. Polish nasal vowels are ą and ę, which are pronounced like the French nasal sounds, ą is like the on in “bon”, and ę is like… well, I don’t have a very wide French vocabulary at all, but I can vaguely remember the word “chermins” so it’s pronounced like the in in it. But, the thing is, sometimes they are pronounced differently, depending where in the word they are, and, to a lesser extend, where in Poland you are. Ą can sound like the English on, or like om, while ę can sound like en, em or e, so then naturally they’re no longer nasal. Now, when people still pronounce them in a nasal way where it shouldn’t be so, it’s considered hypercorrection, and it makes a kind of overintelectualised impression it makes. Hence a rather hilarious way of saying in Polish that someone who is desperately trying to be more sophisticated, more intelligent than they actually are or generally aspiring to something they are not is so “ą ę”, it’s used like an adjective.

What are such things in your opinion/experience? 🙂

Question of the day (14th December).

What trait do you wish you had? What trait about yourself do you like the most?

My answer:

There are a lot of things I could wish, but what jumps to my mind just now is that I’d like to be resilient, as I always feel I’m not really and that’s a super useful trait to have.

As for what trait I like about myself the most, it would be my brains – the way I think and my intelligence, to put it in such a bigheaded way.

How about you? 🙂

Question of the day (9th August).

Hey people! 🙂

I’ve found an interesting question online and thought I’d ask you:

Have you ever had anyone ask you, (How did you get so smart)? If so, how did you answer them?

My answer:

Oh yes, and that’s partly why I found this question interesting, haha. I get a lotof questions like this from people and I usually don’t really know how to react. My intelligence is one thing about myself I think I have a reasonably rational view on despite the AVPD thing and I do think I’m intelligent, I’ve always heard that I’m above average and I also feel this is true, also my brains are something that have helped me to cope in all sorts of situations and I’m so very grateful for being gifted in this area, but I also don’t know how it happened that I am “so” smart. People usually say that because they’re surprised that I know a lot of different things not everyone knows or that they wouldn’t expect me to know. So when people ask me such questions, I don’t know what to say because I just don’t know why it is how it is, other than it’s just is this way and that some people in my family are highly intelligent, and I also don’t know what kind of answer they expect. Is it supposed to be some sort of a bit odd compliment in the form of a rhetorical question? 😀 Or do they really want me to explain the whole process, or whatever? Also I really don’t want to sound like I’m bragging or something.

So how I usually respond is either saying something light along the lines of: “Oh really, did I?!” or “It’s because I never add lemon to hot tea so I probably don’t have that much alluminium in my brain” or that “It’s my grandad’s fault” or “I wonder about that too, y’know? My Mum says it’s a bit of a miracle” or “It’s because I trained my memory so well as a kid by learning all the name days in the calendar” etc. etc. or I get all confused and don’t say anything really, or I tell them seriously that I don’t know, but I read a lot as a kid and seem to have some weird ability to retain loads of information and have always had and am learning things quite quickly, at least some things. It depends on a situation, the other person and how I’m feeling, which approach I take.

The first time I remember I was asked a similar thing and that really made me think hard, was when I was at my classmate’s house for a few days, and her brother once asked me how it is that me, or his sister are quite smart, while some other blind kids are not and why (he was referring to another girl from our class who visited them earlier and who also had some mild intellectual disability and was a preemie and had other problems). And I was literally dumbstruck. I often wondered about similar things but now that someone has actually said this aloud, and asked me, I had to think about it seriously and figure it out somehow. I really wasn’t able to tell him something more insightful at the time, and I think it would be hard for anyone of any age because well, how do you explain why some people are smart and some aren’t, regardless of whether there are some disabilities at play or not. So I just told him something about that that girl was a preemie and I was not, and that my family at least on Mum’s side are smart people, and my Dad was teaching me things like capitals of countries and such when I was very little so maybe that was why my brain was quite well-developed. But I was thinking about it for a reeeally long time, and I don’t think my answer was satisfying for him, either.

Have you ever had similar situations or is it just me? 😀

They finally got it.

Hhrrru? 😻

Misha here. Guess what? My sluggish peeps are starting to think. After 3 years of me living with them. How do I know that? Because they’ve JUST started to come to terms with the fact that I understand more than tey think I do. What a truly shocking discovery, isn’t it?!

One evening I was doing my own business and suddenly heard Mila calling me. I could hear her well and was actually quite close to her but chose to ignore her until I’ll find out that it’s worth my effort to come to her. So she went to Mum’s room and asked Mum if I was there. Mum told her where I was and Mila was calling me all the time so I knew it was something big. And Mum also called me mish mish mish so I didn’t know where to go, but finally followed Mila as she was going downstairs and it looked like she wanted to show me something and I grew more and more interested. And Mum was like: “Wow, he understands that you call him, and where you want him to go!”. Like, wow, really, do I? Wasn’t that quite obvious? No one else in this house is called “mish mish mish”, and if she was going downstairs, obviously she wanted me to follow her and not go in the opposite direction, right? It’s disgracing that they think I am such a total blockhead! And then at the end of the stairs I could feel what was the reason for Mila calling me, I felt a very nice smell from the kitchen, it was yummy yummy fish. I love eating fish. And Dad was having some for supper and was keen to share with me. It was so so yummy. As I ate, I could hear Mila coming back to Mum’s and saying: “He probably understands even more than just that, far more than we realise”. What a spectacular discovery! My peeps are learning new things! Yay for the human race! 😻 No I am not sarcastic at all, I don’t even know how to be sarcastic, I am just a poor kitty who doesn’t even know what they want from me and the only word I understand inhuman language is “Miiiiishaaaaaaaa!!!”. I am 3 years old but have no wits and need to be treated like a 3-month-old baby, because I am just so helpless and feeble-minded, wonder how they’d even managed to toilet train me hahahaha.

But OK, let’s be serious. Of course I understand more than they think I do. I maybe don’t get all of their stupid things because I’m not into that and don’t care, but if something is about me, you can be sure I understand. I tell you that though only because you don’t live under the same roof as me, because – as many other cats probably do too – I find that pretending to be silly and ignoring what’s going on around can really pay off at times and it actually shows how clever you are because making a choice whether you want to hide something or let others know about it also requires some thinking and decision making skills, if not anything else. And they can’t blame me because they do just the same! Even today, I came to Mila’s room, and she picked me up (even though she certainly knows I hate it, but OK, sometimes you have to compromise), and then put me to sleep, but I got up again and stood on her knees and looked very emphatically at the drawer where she keeps my treats, and wagged my tail in its direction so that she could know what I mean. And I know that she got it, but didn’t do anything, just stroking me as if she didn’t notice anything, while I was starving! It’s the same with all of them, so they can’t blame me.

Do you, other pets out there, also prefer not to disclose how much you actually understand? And you peeps out there? Be honest! Honesty is so rare in this world.

Mishpurrs.

Misha 💙 💚 💜

Question of the day.

Do you have a mind for science and math? Would you consider yourself an intellectual? My answer:
I was never particularly good at science at school, if it can indicate whether someone has a mind for science or not, I was quite average. I wasn’t also particularly outstanding at biology or chemistry, and was as lame, hopeless and clueless as you only can imagine at physics and maths and hate it with all my brain. Me and my Mum actually tried very hard to get me a certificate for dyscalculia as one of my teachers suggested, but the woman who evaluated me told us that yes, I theoretically match the criteria but for some reason blind people can’t be diagnosed with dyscalculia, but I didn’t actually get out of her why exactly. If not, it’s OK, but then why won’t they adjust things so that they would be more manageable for those blind people who struggle with mathematical concepts? As far as I know it’s not just me, although I seem to be the most hopeless case of those I know of. 😀 A bit incomprehensible for me that they don’t want to cooperate more, and incredibly annoying, but very luckily it’s all the past and I don’t have to worry about that shit anymore!!!!!!!!!
However, I still do like some things about science, and I would say my approach to many things is rather scientific. I don’t like this division – that some fields are scientific, and some are humanities and arts so they completely aren’t scientific, or that some people have scientific minds, while others have humanist/artistic. I think most of those fields that are called humanities or arts are also scientific more or less, and moreover, often people who work in these fields have scientific minds too. Like I often hear people saying that for example psychology is a humanist field, so not scientific. But I think it’s a great deal of both. Same would be music, social sciences, politology, linguistics, many arts, and so on. So, I’d say I lean more to those fields that many people would call not scientific but rather humanist –
like languages, writing, music, etc. but I often involve in them with quite a scientific approach. Particularly when it comes to languages and how I learn them and how I understand various language concepts. I’ve also had people telling me that actually my way of thinking seems pretty scientific to them, and my Mum constantly keeps saying that I’m analysing way too much stuff and should become a philosopher, and it always pisses her off for some reason when I do so. 😀 I easily notice similarities in things even those that are apparently unrelated to each other which sometimes leads me to quite surprising conclusions. I like deducing lots of things rather than getting to know them straight as they are from someone. I like researching stuff and when something really interests me I can be incredibly inquiring to the point of nosiness at times. 😀 After all I am an Aquarius and all that seems to be characteristic for this zodiac sign. I guess all that can be also called characteristics of a scientific mind. Plus I also am into psychology, medicine, human brain, and some other things that are to do with science by their nature, and if I would see I would be a neurosurgeon for sure. And I’m a bit geeky/nerdy overall.
As for being an intellectual, hm, I’m surely intelligent, people often say that above average, but it is mainly my Mum, who is certainly not objective. 😀 But yeah, I myself too like to think that I am intelligent, and I think most of my interests and things I do require some intellectual potential as well as develop it further. I certainly like to do things with my brain and I like intellectual challenges. When there were still social classes that were significantly divided in Poland my Mum’s family were intellectuals, and this is still visible in what they are like, both my grandparents are very intelligent and so are they children, and they have always respected intellectual work and have a lot of comprehensive knowledge even if not all of my grandparents’ kids have graduated from unis because they simply didn’t want to, like for example my Mum started studying pedagogic but stopped very quickly because she just realised it’s not for her, and her true dream was to work in gastronomy, which isn’t something very intellectual, but anyway she was never able to achieve it either. Most of my Mum’s family are also naturally witty people and appreciate a good, but not too simple joke which seems to also be a trait of intelligent people. I think I have a lot after my Mum’s family, that I like to learn, even if these aren’t conventional things you can learn at school, ’cause I am absolutely fed up with education system overall as I said before. I’ve also learnt a lot, particularly from my Grandad, who, although he is a food technologist by profession, has also been very keen about medicine and he taught me a lot about different aspects of it, practically anytime we talk I learn something new. 😀 I also think I have some sense of humour after them, be it in the way I can see lots of absurd in many life situations whee an average person wouldn’t see anything particular, or in the fact that I like making people laugh, have, or try to have some healthy distance to most of things and laughing off stuff is my life coping strategy in many situations, I am also often sarcastic and cynnical just like my grandad and my Mum, though each of us in a bit different way. So I think I can call myself an intellectual.
How about you? Do you like science, or have a scientific mind? How about math? Do you think about yourself as an intellectual? How does it all manifest in you? 🙂