Tag Archives: Vocabulary

I like to have intellectual conversation with people. Even if the two or the group of us aren’t fully sure of what we argue, it is rewarding to press each other to be genuine to our claims, and to relent when we realize that truth is no longer found in our argument.

However, I hate when people sound stupid when we have these intellectual conversations. The point of intellectual conversation is not to sound intellectual. It’s nice to sound intellectual, but that shouldn’t be your goal.

One of the most common things said by people trying to sound smarter is “stress”.

Stress?! What are you talking about exactly? “I think Paul is stressing the importance of Jesus in this passage.” Does Paul have stress over Jesus? What does it mean to stress a point?

I guess it works. You can stress a point. But it just sounds so wrong and ugly. I want to stress this, I want to stress that. For me, it’s poor style, and if you want to be cool, you need to have style.

Therefore, the next time you are engaged in intellectual conversation, do not use the word stress. I suggest that you use the word “emphasize”. It’s more accurate, has only one meaning, and has more syllables (which actually makes you sound smarter instead of sounding stupid).

I can’t emphasize enough how important this is for you to be cool.

Also, I realize people don’t usually try to be cool when in intellectual discussion. Sometimes we are at a loss for words, but then that is where love picks up the slack.