I was reading a Reddit entry about “things people do that automatically let you know they’re an idiot.” Check out some of the answers and see if you are guilty of doing any!

To me, that sounds a little harsh. I mean, everyone probably has a word or two that they mispronounce or use incorrectly. For years I thought the word “biopic” rhymed with “myopic”. I knew the word only from reading it. I’d never heard anyone use it aloud before. My mom says “potpourri” exactly as it’s spelled: POT-Por-ee. I don’t think she’s an idiot because I know her but if I overheard a stranger pronounce it that way I would probably assume they were missing a few chromosomes.

I try not to judge people. I really try. Yet, I do it everyday. Here are my top Instant Idiot Indicators that make me think people are not a smart as they might actually be. If you do any of these, try to stop. Unless you don’t care what I think about you then, by all means, do whatever you want.

1.)     When people claim that 9/11 or Sandy Hook were “inside jobs”


I love Willie Nelson. I think he’s a national treasure and should be issued a “smoke weed with no repercussions” card valid in all 50 states just because he’s so awesome. That’s why it really came as a blow when I heard him express the views of so-called 9/11 “Truthers”.  Suddenly, this man I admired so much knocked himself down a peg or two just by expressing this opinion. Although Charlie Sheen and Rosie O’Donnell and many others were going around blathering about tensile strength and the temperature at which steel melts and other engineering factoids that they had just “learned” from a homemade video by a 19 year old  I was only disappointed in Willie. So, I guess the Instant Idiot Indicator is only effective with people you don’t already think of as idiots. That’s why I won’t be bringing up any “Fernyisms” today.

2.)     “Their, there, they’re” and “your and you’re”

I’m not a grammar Nazi. I won’t judge someone if they do this once or twice. You may have gotten screwed by auto-correct or maybe suffered a minor stroke. But if these words are consistently misused or confused, I go into default mode and talk to you in the same tone I would a 5 year old or not particularly bright dog.

3.)     Constant misspellings

Misspellings happen. I misspell sometimes. One misspelling an idiot does not make.  But I do assume intellectual inferiority when an e-mail or post are strewn with them. The reason is auto-correct. I know that most of the time you are typing there is something in the program you are using that will alert you when you’ve misspelled. It usually takes the form of a red, squiggly underline that no one can miss. This means that someone who misspells numerous times knows they are misspelling.  They know it and they consciously make the decision to say, “I don’t give a fuhhh.”  The term for that is “willfully ignorant”.  If you are willfully ignorant it’s worse than being naturally stupid. But thank you for the heads up!

4.)     Truck Nutz



5.)     People who think Transformers movies are good

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It’s OK to like them. You can even describe yourself as a Michael Bay fan. But as soon as you state that you think they are “good movies” you have crossed some kind of boundary, like a retarded Rubicon.  I won’t even discuss movies with you after that point.

6.)     People who say “Well, evolution is just one theory”

I’m ok when people disbelieve Darwinism because of their religious beliefs. To me, it’s a perfectly valid position to say “I have decided on this set of beliefs and regardless of any evidence I will stick by them.”   Fine. Just don’t say that and then try to use scientific terms you don’t understand. Because, no one who understands what the word “theory” means when talking about science.  In science, a theory isn’t just a guess or a hunch. It’s a very well-studied, well-researched observation that thoroughly explains a set of given data. A theory doesn’t get promoted to a law. They are different concepts in that laws describe things and theories explain them. Saying that evolution is just a theory is like saying that the earth revolving around the sun is “just one theory”.  If you believe the earth is only 6,000 years old because that’s what it adds up to in the Bible, fine. But don’t try to apply that logic to science or else you earn a spot on the 3 I’s List.