In Defense of the Over-Active Cerebrum

Over the years members of my extended family have encountered issues when dating outside of our IQ demographic. People can feel excluded when they are not part of the in-crowds jargon. In the case where academics get together there seems to be some heightened sense of exclusion based on use of "big" words. So on Sunday when several of the usual heavily-degreed group got together, I attempted to pay attention to the prevalence multi-syllabic jargon.

First, let me say that at least in the case of my group of big brains, the use of academic terminology is neither for show nor status. We speak with precision because we wish to convey nuances and small differences in tone and content. Unfortunately, not everyone feels as we do and in the past this has caused real issues when a non-academic partner was thrown into the gaggle of the cerebral herd.

This past Sunday, there was indeed a new adjunct person being introduced. However, he was not an intellectual lightweight in any sense of the word. True he was not formally academically indoctrinated, but he was a really sharp guy. So there was no issue of his being excluded or marginalized. But it was his first time in the pool with this new lover's group of smarties.

He clearly endeared himself to all of us, with this Monday morning email summary to his partner:

"Your friends are very likeable despite their ridiculously overgrown brains."

Now he has to cope with being blog fodder for me.