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You Can’t Be “Ignorant” and “Stupid” at the Same Time

While driving my daughter to school today, she asked me what it means to be ignorant. I told her that it means to be unaware, uninformed and unknowing.

This conversation gave me the idea to describe the differences between ignorant and stupid.

If you think they’re synonyms, you’re either ignorant or stupid, depending on if you have been told that they’re not synonyms. This is a critical element, for someone truly ignorant has never been told such a thing or couldn’t possibly know. If someone has been told they’re synonyms and chooses not to believe it, they’re stupid.

If a person doesn’t know it’s against the law to drive faster than the posted speed limit, he/she is ignorant of the law (and we know that ignorance is not a defense). But if that person knows the law and chooses to drive faster, that’s stupidity.

Put another way, as Benjamin Franklin did: “We are all born ignorant, but one must work hard to remain stupid.”

Until next time! Use the right words!


August 21, 2013 - Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , ,


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    Pingback by Ignorance vs. Stupidity | Etymon | September 16, 2013 | Reply

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    Pingback by …vs. stupidity | Etymon | September 17, 2013 | Reply

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