Are You A Know It All? – A Simple Test

“I swear,” he said to me, shaking his head, “she is so stupid—.” I cut him off quickly with, “Stupid? Is she stupid? Didn’t she graduate college?” “Well, yes,” he stammered, “but, please, how could someone do something like that?” “Okay,” I answered, “that’s a different question. To figure out what was in her head, we have to ask her, but before we do that, I’m still interested in your use of the word, ‘stupid.’ Is she or isn’t she stupid?” “No, she isn’t ordinarily stupid,” he concluded with a deep sigh, slinking into the cushions as if wishing he wouldn’t have to get out of them and start dealing with the mess in his life. When You Say “Is” You Sound Like A Know It All “You see,” I point out, “the problem is not so much with the word ‘stupid,’ as it is with the word, ‘is.’ For example, if you said, ‘She is acting as if she were stupid, which is really strange since I know she is smart,’ you’d have a whole different meaning, one which really expresses how you feel without sounding like you are a Mr. Know It All and you’re passing judgment on her. I’m not crazy about the word ‘stupid’ in any case, but the word ‘is’ makes it sound like you’ve come down from Heaven with The Answers. You don’t want to do that, I’m sure. It’s disrespectful.” As Peter looked at me, I could see a little ray of light in his eyes, the dawn of an awareness. “Is that why she has told me so many times, ‘You...
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