I had an excellent moment at school last week. There's a thoroughly annoying kid in my MA1 English class who likes to use 'epistemological' 'pedagogical' and 'ontological' as often as possible--preferably in the same sentence. It's unbearably funny trying to listen to him communicate in class. He might as well be saying, "I'm smarter than you. Just so you know. All of you. I'm smarter." As Rob says, he pulls out the $20 words, when a $1 word would do.
Well, we were talking about Dracula, and the connection between technology and one of the main characters. Just for a lark, I decided to actually listen to him for once and respond instead of giggling quietly to myself while he struggles his way through all the words he knows.
I responded by saying something about how Dracula is in general about the fear of emasculation, and how that's tied to the technological revolution, where women can now type and use technology the same way as men.
He snips right back, 'but don't you think it's actually about the fear of going crazy? I think to say it's about the fear of emasculation is just a really vulgar psychoanalytic interpretation." Which is, of course, MA-English-speak for: I'm smarter than you.
But then, i came back with, "But isn't going crazy always gendered female?" Which it is, and everyone in the class murmured assent. Quietly, the girl next to me says, 'That was really good.'
I love getting in intellectual fights with pretentious people.
Ironically, I must sound pretty pretentious for even telling this story, but we'll let that go.