I have a pretty good vocabulary. I really do. I read a lot and watch movies that tend to be a bit higher on the intellectual scale than Dumb and Dumber (though I do love that movie). I’m also pretty tech savvy. I know how Windows and Linux works, and OSX to a lesser extent. I know how to do a lot of stuff with computers. I’m a geek. I study operating systems and software like a anthropologist studies an amazonian culture. I’m also not afraid to experiment and that leads to more “unofficial” knowledge and that makes me even more technically inclined.
However, I also think I am a good computer/OS teacher and technical support person. Why? Because I can relate my knowledge to those who don’t have it. I’m also not afraid to look a little foolish while doing it. I love analogies that get my point across. Even dumb ones. I will explain complex technical things in the easiest and non-condescending terms possible. This may make me appear to be less than “educated”, but that’s okay. It works.
However, my pet peeve is those who must make themselves appear smart by using big words and obstructive language around those who don’t know the definitions or concepts behind those words. For example, take our chat room. I could go around saying that it is an Internet Relay Chat room on the Starlink-irc network that can only be access through a client program. “nternet relay chat?” “Starlink-irc network?” “client program” What are those? Well, for net junkies, they would know exactly what I mean. The average visitor of our room. Probably wouldn’t even know where to begin. So, I write out brief instructions. I don’t use a bunch of technical terms, and I don’t want to show people how smart I am. I just want them to be able to come in and visit. When I hear co-workers give instructions full of technical jargon to customer who may have only used a mouse for the first time today, I want to scream. Sure, they look smart, but they are useless.