Joe Niederberger (JN) posted Dec 28, 2013 8:46 PM (http://mathforum.org/kb/message.jspa?messageID=9352310) in response to Kirby Urner (KU), I believe: > > >(KU): Yeah, I know. I find approximately no one is as > > smart as they could be, but we live in a culture that > > expects and rewards dummies. Being smart means being > > lonely at parties. > > (JN): I think you are confusing being smart with being > recondite. Not that you are the first to do so. > Perhaps that's unwittingly transmitted along with our > other schooling. > > Cheers, > Joe N > I was intrigued by JN's distinction between "smart" and "recondite", so I checked out in a couple of dictionaries. Here is part of what I found:
The Free Dictionary (by FARLEX) QUOTE smart (smärt) adj. smart·er, smart·est 1. a. Characterized by sharp quick thought; bright. See Synonyms at intelligent. b. Amusingly clever; witty: a smart quip; a lively, smart conversation. c. Impertinent; insolent: That's enough of your smart talk. 2. Energetic or quick in movement: a smart pace. 3. Canny and shrewd in dealings with others: a smart negotiator. 4. Fashionable; elegant: a smart suit; a smart restaurant; the smart set. See Synonyms at fashionable. 5. a. Capable of making adjustments that resemble human decisions, especially in response to changing circumstances: smart missiles. b. Manufactured to regulate the amount of light transmitted in response to varying light conditions or to an electronic sensor or control unit: smart windows. 6. New England & Southern U.S. Accomplished; talented: He's a right smart ball player. ++++ UNQUOTE There is much, MUCH more (so I provide the link for those who may be interested to explore further - http://www.thefreedictionary.com/smart).
QUOTE rec'on'dite (rkn-dt, r-kndt) adj. 1. Not easily understood; abstruse. See Synonyms at ambiguous. 2. Concerned with or treating something abstruse or obscure: recondite scholarship. 3. Concealed; hidden. [Latin reconditus, past participle of recondere, to put away : re-, re- + condere, to put together, preserve; see dh- in Indo-European roots.] recon·ditely adv. recon·diteness n.
I therefore have not gone further into the meanings of "smart" Vs. "recondite" - but I would broadly guess that KU was NOT confusing "being smart with being recondite", as suggested. I should think he knows what he intended to say.
I'm pretty certain that KU had intended "smart" in the sense indicated by the FARLEX Dictionary, i.e.
"1.a. Characterized by sharp quick thought; bright. See Synonyms at intelligent."
"To be recondite" means, as I understand, something a bit (rather subtly) different.
However, the point I really wanted to make was that language is, in general, EXTREMELY complex and that the conventional dictionaries and thesauruses ('thesauri'??) may not be quite sufficient for us - though they are doubtless and surely very useful tools to help us with many of our problems relating to language and meaning.
However, it IS true, as suggested by Kirby Urner, that being 'smart' these days may well mean being lonely at parties. (Probably this has ALWAYS been the case. Socrates was, as I understand, often lonely at parties. Note for Professor Bishop: I am NOT comparing myself to Socrates!)
I do believe some Interpretive Structural Modeling' (ISM) [the modeling tool developed by the late John N. Warfield to aid the exploration of 'systems'] could help us become considerably more clear in our own minds about these 'linguistic twists, turns and oddities', particularly if we were to model such words, synonyms and antonyms via the transitive relationship "INCLUDES". (NOTE for Robert Hansen and others stuck on PERT and Gantt Charts: The "PRECEDENCE" relationship, while it IS transitive, does not quite do the trick to help investigate meanings of language, etc; "INCLUDES" is likely to help).
(I note that the exercise suggested in the above paragraph would take quite some doing - and clarity about these 'linguistic twists, turns and oddities' is not likely to come about with the first few modeling exercises performed. Also, the exercise would probably require the support of some linguistic experts [in English; or in whichever language the exercise is being done]. Of course, the exercise is likely to be very significantly more complex if we are thinking of doing an exercise involving several languages.
Note for Professor Bishop, in case he happens to be listening in: I am pretty sure I'm not qualified and not really capable to lead or even to participate in such an exercise - and I'm also not terribly interested in doing any of it: linguistic systems are very important, doubtless, but they're not my prime interest. The above are just some thoughts that came to mind when I saw the distinctions made between "smart" and "recondite").
GSC NOTE: There are several "?"-marks coming up wherever the 'Math-teach editor' is not properly translating the symbols in the FARLEX Dictionary from which I've copied. (Just check out the linkages provided for the correct versions).