The nerd equivalent of standing behind one of those muscle-man cutouts to pose for a photo, then claiming you're Arnold Schwarzenegger.
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As one would notice after a short stint of frequenting various internet forums, blogs, mailing lists or essentially any other shade of online community, there happens to be a lot of opinions being expressed throughout every corner of the internet. Some of these opinions are well-expressed and well-educated; others are blatant displays of idiocy, making a plank of wood look like a supercomputer by comparison. There's also a middle ground, where opinions are expressed in a verbose, seemingly intelligent fashion but behind this facade the words serve to form nothing other than a gob-smackingly idiotic stream of uneducated warblings. This middle ground is the home-base of pseudo-intellectualism; a black hole where perfectly good words go to get raped by those who use them and left to weep, for their use in spreading total naff is just too much for them to bear.
Pseudo-intellectualism is an integral part of internet culture. Anonymity, asshattery, hipsterism and delusions of towering intellect all mix together in the minds of innumerable beret-wearing neckbeards to vomit forth spurious, incoherent keyboard ramblings hiding under the veil of intelligent discourse and pollute the blogosphere, Wikipedia,
Encyclopedia Dramatica OhInternet Uncyclopedia and every single website which encourages discussion of any kind, wasting your precious GET requests in the process.
Because nobody really wants to waste their time talking to someone who knows how to express their cluelessness in the most tedious, most long-winded way possible, it is important for any serious internet power-user to be able to identify intellectual neophytes and wannabes. Fortunately there are a number of traits which most pseudo-intellectuals typically share, including:
- Heavy reliance on big words, particularly those which are obviously yanked from thesaurus.com;
- Quoting people such as Albert Einstein, Friedrich Nietzsche and Aristotle hilariously out of context;
- A wont for the ridiculous over-punctuation of every single thing they post;
- The tendency to attack people who question their ideas, rather than debating them rationally;
- Being alternative for the sake of being alternative;
The Social Behavior of a Pseudo-intellectual
A pseudo-intellectual tends to be egotistical, and doesn't like it when their supposed intellect is challenged. They surround themselves with some of the dumbest, useless wastes of skin on the face of the planet, who will do nothing but make him or her seem smart and praise them, no matter how dumb their statements are. Nobody with even a hint of intellect wants anything to do with them simply because a pseudo-intellectual gets extremely irritable when you challenge them on it.
Pseudo-intellectualism predates the internet, certainly. However, it's been a part of the internet for a long while: it's been rife ever since armchair experts began to discover that instead of haranguing their family with their tedium they could post it online for the whole world to groan at.
Does this really, really need explaining?