Being smart is only a perception. Obviously if people are around you frequently they will be able to figure out whether you produce intellectual thoughts or are just another meandering bonehead rather quickly. For people who you periodically see though, it’s easy to trick them by using words that make you sound sharper than you really are. These words take away from what you are actually saying and make the person think about what word you just used instead of what you actually said. When I hear these types of words in conversation, they stick in my mind that I should use them because they hold some power. Without further ado, here is my list. Feel free to add in the comment section.


1. of keen penetration or discernment; sagacious: an astute analysis.
2. clever; cunning; ingenious; shrewd: an astute merchandising program; an astute manipulation of facts.

Telling people that they are making astute points gains huge respect.  By using astute, you are going a level above smart or thoughtful (which I also like), and pinpointing that the specific point is on point.  This word can’t be used haphazardly but when someone says something that strikes you as head and shoulders better than anything else, it’s time to bust out astute.


1. To attract and hold the attention or interest of, as by beauty or excellence; enchant
2. Obsolete, to capture

I like to use captivating sporadically rather than interesting or amusing.  It takes it to the next level.  When people are captivated they are not thinking about anything else.  If you are selling something, you want your product to captivate the audience.

They're tight!

They’re tight!

1. Close  – Me and Joe been tight since we were in jail together.
2. Stylish, cool, having everything together.  – Did you see his ride, it was tight.
3. Scrooge – My mom’s tight she won’t give me $10.

I had to go to urbandictionary for this one but I like the ring of tight.  It sounds really cheesy if you use it like the #2 spot.   A better use of tight is when everything is smooth and you have your shit together.  How is business?  No problems, we are running tight.


1. to gather or deposit in or as if in a granary or other storage place.
2. to get; acquire; earn: He gradually garnered a national reputation as a financial expert.

Evan said he liked this word and I agree. You don’t just get attention, you garner it. It’s a more sophisticated and smarter word to explain how you are acquiring something. “We need to garner their trust.” I would trust the person who says this more than the person who is getting their trust.


1. a gross, stupid, or careless mistake: That’s your second blunder this morning.

This is a good word because it doesn’t carry a whole lot of negative connotation.  It’s a nice, more powerful way to say you made a mistake. It’s also a good way to describe a fuck up in chess.