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Know-It-Alls January 9, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Books & Movies, Humor, Joke, People, Poetry.


Books, authors, words ~ how
vast the stacks. No know-it-all
ever knows it all.

And you can tell him I said so.

Aah . . . that’s better!

Do you know any know-it-alls?

Do you view them as a ready reference and reliable resource obviating the need for further research on your part?

Related posts:  Empty Your Cup * The Urge to Pontificate (Candid Impressions)


1. Rainee - January 9, 2014

I don’t mind if others think they ‘know it all’. It only bothers me when they expect me to believe everything they say!

nrhatch - January 9, 2014

Yes, their view of the world is Black and White, overlooking all the lovely shades of gray. Don’s post (link above) has some interesting thoughts on “pontificators” who lecture AT us.

2. Tammy - January 9, 2014

I think I tend to avoid them.

nrhatch - January 9, 2014

Maybe you’ve moved past the point of attracting them.

I read somewhere that people who annoy us are our “teachers” and that, as we progress on the path, people who can upset us become harder and harder to find.

3. suzicate - January 9, 2014

No know-it-all ever knows it all. -truer words never spoken…we are all works in progress, glad I enjoy learning.

nrhatch - January 9, 2014

Me too! One of my favorite scenes from A Christmas Carol is when Ebenezer is bouncing around on Christmas Morning singing, “I don’t know. But now I know that I don’t know.”

That state of “not knowing” is a prerequisite to learning ~ as in the Zen parable when the cup overflows:


4. ericjbaker - January 9, 2014

Know-it-alls like to blather on about things. It’s not long before you find out they don’t know it all. That’s when you hit them with a roundhouse right and knock them out. Of course, I’m speaking metaphorically.

Or am I?


nrhatch - January 9, 2014

Yes! They do like to blather on about this, that, and the other thing. Blather ~> what a great sudsy word!

Hey, wait! Bloggers like to blather. I’m a blogger. Ergo, I’m a blatherer. But I view myself more as a know-it-some-of-the-time. :mrgreen:

ericjbaker - January 9, 2014

You keep your blather under 500 words most of the time, which lightens the calorie count considerably!

nrhatch - January 9, 2014

It does! And how kind of you to notice my slimmer trimmer posts.

5. I am J - January 9, 2014

Actually, I have found a couple of know-it-alls who have steered me in the right direction. While they are not “popular” and can be pompous and annoying, they are worth listening to IF they actually do know what they’re talking about. It doesn’t take me long to figure out the ones who do know and the ones who only think they know! There’s a big difference between the two.

nrhatch - January 9, 2014

Yes, quite a difference and not always capable of immediate discernment . . . but time tends to reveal the truth. Thanks for weighing in on this, I am J.

6. brendamarroy - January 9, 2014

When in the presence of a “know it all” who is instructing me in how to do it, how to feel, how to be, and how to live, I look for the meat and spit out the bone.

nrhatch - January 9, 2014

That is BRILLIANT! Someone sent me a funny quote the other day along the same lines, with a bit more SNARK:

“I’m sorry. I didn’t realize that you were an expert on my life and how I should live it. Please continue while I take notes.”

brendamarroy - January 14, 2014

I love the comeback and hope I can remember it when I need it.

nrhatch - January 14, 2014

I can think of a time or two when it would have been the perfect quick quip.

7. Grannymar - January 9, 2014

I described someone recently as a person who devours dictionaries for breakfast. If he can say something in a thousand (extra long) words, no way will he say it in ten simple ones! Have a conversation with him and most of what he says are direct quotes. You never really get to know what he really thinks.

nrhatch - January 9, 2014

I love quotes, aphorisms, and other digestible phrases ~ as long as they’re pertinent, pithy, and to the point.

When someone is inclined to recite a lengthy soliloquy, I find myself looking for a “Fast Forward” button.

Grannymar - January 9, 2014

I do like quotes, but in the appropriate place, as you use them. Certainly not as a means to boast of how well read a person is.

nrhatch - January 9, 2014

Exactly my view too, GM. When someone tries to impress me, I am generally not impressed. 😉

8. granny1947 - January 9, 2014

We all know someone like that!

nrhatch - January 9, 2014

Wait . . . you’re not talking about me, are you??? 😛

9. Don - January 9, 2014

Nancy, you speak of the state of “not knowing.” I have found the older I get the less I profess to know and live more and more in that state of not knowing. I think Buddhists call it Beginners Mind. Appreciate your link and mention of the post.

nrhatch - January 9, 2014

Your post came just as I was contemplating the vast stack of knowledge out there to be digested.

Yes, that state of “not knowing” is synonymous with Beginner’s Mind which allows us to see things again . . . for the first time.

10. Pix Under the Oaks - January 9, 2014

Yes I know a few know-it-alls. When forced to listen to their know-it-all conversation I just go somewhere else in my mind and think happy thoughts and smile and nod.. 😀

nrhatch - January 9, 2014

Yes! Another time when it pays to just “smile and nod.” 😀

11. Andra Watkins - January 9, 2014

I’ve met plenty of know-it-alls in my life. What used to aggravate me more were the people who assumed I didn’t know anything. I’ve outgrown getting upset about that one, but it took some time and work on my part.

nrhatch - January 9, 2014

Really? I loved it when opposing attorneys underestimated me, especially in the courtroom. I immediately set to work on a Surprise Ambush. :mrgreen:

Andra Watkins - January 9, 2014

Didn’t work the same way in accounting.

12. anotherday2paradise - January 9, 2014

I find it’s mostly the younger generation that think they know it all. As we grow older, we realise that in life, one never stops learning. 🙂

nrhatch - January 9, 2014

One of the best things about growing older is being able to say, “I don’t know” without feeling the fool. So much easier than going out on a limb or retreating from an unsupportable opinion.

anotherday2paradise - January 9, 2014

So true. 🙂

13. Behind the Story - January 9, 2014

My late husband wasn’t a know-it-all, but he knew a lot. I guess I relied on his knowledge and didn’t bother to learn the things he already knew. My know-it-all husband was always there to answer questions about China or engineering or the Second World War. And then he wasn’t. I wish I’d written down some of his stories. I thought I could always ask him to tell them again. My mother died two years ago, and my sister and I are realizing how much we depended on her knowledge about family lore.

nrhatch - January 9, 2014

I’m sure you miss having your husband around.

And I know what you mean about “family lore” ~ I have questions but there is NO ONE left who can answer them.

14. Three Well Beings - January 9, 2014

Oh yes, I do know a few know-it-alls! So funny! I find that sometimes I hold back on sharing simply because I know a lecture is just waiting for me. 🙂 I am kind of an information junkie, and so I think I could lapse into being a bit of a know-it-all, too, but in the past few years when I feel that I’m in danger of lecturing, I’ll often suggest a google search if I think there’s genuine interest. I don’t want to be the resident expert in anything. LOL!

nrhatch - January 10, 2014

Hey, why not? Instead of going to a lecture at the library, you can have a front road seat to soak up their knowledge!

I enjoy listening to people who have a wealth of information at their fingertips. You spring to mind. As does Kate.

The know-it-alls I aim to avoid are those who purport an expansive comprehension of a topic and/or situation when, in reality, their comprehension is inaccurate, limited, or suspect. :mrgreen:

In his later years, when my father and I didn’t see eye-to-eye on a topic or subject, he’d signal the end the conversation with an abrupt, “Well . . . I don’t need a lecture.”

15. jannatwrites - January 10, 2014

I know a know-it-all. Unfortunately, I can’t always avoid this person so I’m learning to just turn my hearing off so I don’t get annoyed. No use arguing because it’s a discussion I couldn’t possibly win 🙂

nrhatch - January 10, 2014

On first read, I thought, “Wow, I didn’t know that Janna had a hearing aid.” Then I realized you just exercised “selective hearing” as an aid. Good for you.

My uncle has a hearing aid. I see him reach up and turn down the volume when he’s lost interest in the conversation. One of the perks of age. 😉

16. colonialist - January 12, 2014

Most know-it-alls tend to be no-wit-at-alls.
Of course, there is nothing more infuriating than a pompous know-it-all who actually does.

nrhatch - January 12, 2014

Haha! “No Wit Alls” is a perfect descriptor, Col ~ especially for those who spew esoteric knowledge about without a sense of humor about the absurdity of certainty:

“Absolute certainty is a privilege of uneducated minds and fanatics.” ~ C.J. Keyser

Neither of which is known for their wit. :mrgreen:

colonialist - January 12, 2014

Fanatics are particularly good at believing the impossible. They are able to short-circuit their logic wiring at will.

nrhatch - January 12, 2014

Allah be praised! 😉

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