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A guide to looking smarter than you actually are

By Jeffrey Wang, October 18 2023—

Today is a good day for your unwashed ilk as I will, in my munificence, bring some culture and intelligence to this midden heap you call a university and show you how to project (some) intelligence. 

1: Look down on your inferiors. 

I studied in the United Kingdom, so I get a free license to look down on all of you Canadians. But if you had the misfortune of studying for a degree in this country, you still have a chance. You can always look down at those Edmontians from the University of Alberta. Elitism is undoubtedly a sign of intelligence since the elites are so intelligent. 

2: Put on an accent. 

Everyone knows that a European (Western only) is the epitome of culture. Talking about law or economics? Put on a British accent. Culture? Well, mange mon baguette and put on a French accent. 

3: Pepper your speech with quotes.

Speaking in a fancy accent isn’t enough. You’ve got to add a lot of quotes as well. “Wise are those who quoteth the ancients” – Thomas Stuart Rousseau. If you can’t think of a quote or don’t remember how it goes? Well, then, make it up. 

4: Use Latin phrases. 

Everyone intelligent knows that Latin is the most dignified language in the world. Never mind the graffiti in Pompeii. Talking about your dog? Make sure to mention Mansuetae naturae. Did someone accidentally touch you? Call it Trespass vi et armis. And no, don’t explain it to your audience; their not knowing makes you seem smarter. 

5: Use technical terms.

It’s unfortunate, but a fact, that most of you hillbillies don’t know Latin. Can’t blame you, you were educated by the Canadian government after all. But you’re in university now! From the business school? Throw around words like “Deadweight Loss”. Law school? Well, “Trover” is a good word when your friend bums your fries. The sciences? Well, I’ve got no idea, but I’m sure your fancy words will impress me. Art school? Sorry, I can’t help you there. However, “Would you like fries with that?” could work. 

6: Write in British English

Speaking of writing, we live in Canada, which has this weird mishmash of American and British English. Always write in British English and actively call out those who write American as wrong (refer to section 1). 

7: Carry a big (non-fiction) book 

You should always carry a big book. It makes you look well-read. Make sure to rotate the book every week or two, so people think you are a fast reader as well! Bonus points if it’s hardcover, in a foreign (but respectable) language, or has a prominently displayed title like “Advanced Neurochemistry” or “Ab urbe condita”. If a book is too heavy, you can always carry a respectable newspaper like the Financial Times or the Economist.  

8: Dress like it 

All your classmates come in dressed like they do their shopping out of the back of a dumpster or a Lululemon, the same thing really. So, if you come in a suit, tie, dress pants and well-polished leather shoes, you will turn heads. After all, if you look like a scholar, people will assume you are one. You should also wear glasses even if you don’t need to; glasses make people look intelligent! (I’m certain the way I dress has no correlation with my single relationship status)

9: Brag about your test scores

It doesn’t really matter what you score. Just make sure people think you’re doing well on your exams. Brag loudly about getting As. Make other people insecure by mentioning things that are not on the syllabus just before the test. Also, if you walk out early of the exam, people will think you’re some kind of prodigy. 

10: Be rich 

All the previous suggestions are only needed if you are poor. If you are rich, you don’t have to do any of this. People will naturally and instinctively think you are a genius. Not born rich? Well, you should have thought of that when your parents conceived you.

This article is part of our humour section.

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