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100 Words that instantly make you sound dumber

Heather Barnett is a freelance writer and foodie whose work has been featured in blogs, websites, magazines, and TV and radio ads. She spends her free time relaxing with her soulmate, Keith; her dog, Mosby "The Fly Slayer;" and Felix th...

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The way you speak with friends may be inappropriate in a professional situation. Are you sabotaging your career with any of these words that make you sound less than intelligent?

71. Photographic memory

Definition: a slang term for eidetic memory, or the ability to recall details like images, sounds and objects with extreme precision

To refer to one with an eidetic memory, it's generally best to avoid the term "photographic," which is a misnomer for what they experience and scientifically inaccurate. Claiming to have a photographic memory when no eidetic tendency has been diagnosed is also an eye-roller (and can easily be disproven). Just say you have a good memory.

72. Preggers/knocked up

Definition: slang terms for pregnant

Cute to use while you're with friends. If you're in a professional or less friendly situation, just don't.

73. Pretense

Definition: done for show; to show off

There's nothing wrong with this word when it's used correctly, but many people incorrectly substitute it for pretext, which is a fabricated reason or excuse for something.

74. Probly/prolly vs. probably

The word probably (meaning most likely) has three syllables: PROB-AB-LY.

75. Pronounciation vs. pronunciation

We agree that it weird that the noun form of the verb pronounce has a different second syllable, but it does nonetheless. The word is PRO-NUN-CEE-EY-SHUN.

76. Random

Definition: without reason or pattern

It's OK to note that something is random if it truly is. However, something being unexpected or unpredicted doesn't make it random. The guys you saw at the restaurant weren't random, they were simply people you didn't know. The event that startled you wasn't random unless it wasn't explainable by science. It was just unexpected.

77. Retard

Definition: a pejorative term for those with compromised mental faculties

This is a legitimate term meaning to slow down or delay. But it should never be used as a noun to refer to a person.

78. Refute vs. rebut

If you refute something, you prove it to be false with evidence. If you intend to present your own argument, you intend to rebut something.

79. Silicone vs. silicon

They aren't interchangeable. SIL-I-CAHN is a naturally occurring element. SIL-I-CONE is a synthetic derivative. So one should say "SIL-I-CAHN Valley," as it's the silicon that functions as the ideal semiconductor used in computer technology.

80. Sit vs. set vs. sat

Don't say to a person, "please set down" when asking them to take a seat. Also, do not say that an object "set" somewhere. It's "please sit down," "I set the pen on your desk," and "the cat sat on the armchair."

Up Next: More words that instantly make you sound dumber

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