Street Kred

I spent all those years back in school learning how to write coherently, so that I could sound educated and knowledgeable when I write a paper, or a letter, or a blog post. (OK, so I had no idea I'd ever write such a thing as a "blog" back when I was in high school!) And for the most part, I still believe that being able to present yourself as literate and articulate is an important part of written communication.


So I had to laugh at myself last weekend when I found myself following a link from Twitter to Yahoo Answers to try to lend my input to the girl who wanted to know how to "take off fake nails." Mind you, her question specifically mentioned that they were not acrylic.


First things first — why do so many people think you should soak your fingers in warm water to get your nails off?


At any rate, after sifting through the seven or eight replies that gave that advice, or other "advice" that didn't take into account the possibility that she might be wearing something that won't soak off so simply (especially if you're just soaking them in water), I found myself specifically trying to "dumb down" my reply in order to be sure that my answer would be taken seriously.


I was amused at myself as I realized I was trying to use smaller words and intentionally improper grammar in order to "be taken seriously," but I do think it's an important revelation for those of us who tend to hit the space bar between "a" and "lot"; sometimes we need to remember that technical terminology comes across as snobbery. And if the person you're talking to thinks that you're a know-it-all snob, they stop listening to you, even if you're the one with the right answer.


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