Ignorant Know-It-Alls

The only thing worse than a know-it-all is an ignorant know-it-all, i.e., someone who swears they know it all but doesn’t know much of anything. There are some very well educated people who love to flaunt their knowledge. It’s annoying. But at the very least they know what they’re talking about. But ignorant know-it-alls just say the most inane things and swear that they’re enlightening those listening.

Case in point: The other day at work we were watching The Passion of the Christ. One of my coworkers asked what language they were speaking. I told him that it was mostly Aramaic with a few lines of Latin thrown in. He asked what Aramaic was, and before I could answer, another coworker insisted that it was Arabic. I said, no, it’s not Arabic, but they’re both Semitic languages and thus they’re related. Well he proceeded to boldly correct me and explain that Aramaic is simply another dialect of Arabic. He used different dialects of Spanish (e.g., the Spanish that Puerto Ricans speak as compared to the Spanish that Mexicans speak) as an analogy.

I gently corrected him and explained that they’re completely different, even if related, languages. I used the Spanish, Italian, and French as an analogy to try and explain the relationship between Aramaic, Hebrew, and Arabic. They all share a common source while being different languages, but there are enough similarities to tell that they derive from a common source. He told me that I was insane to suggest that Spanish and Italian were in any way related languages! Obviously he’s never worked in Italian restaurants. The Italian owners speak to the Spanish speaking employees in Italian all the time and there’s very little miscommunication between them.

Anyway… He swore I was wrong until another coworker whose mother speaks fluent Italian, chimed in and said that his mom had no problems understanding Spanish at all. My mom, who speaks fluent Spanish, carries along quite well with Italian and Portuguese speakers when she has to. But this is the stuff I have to deal with on a daily basis. It seems trivial, and it is in the grand scheme of things, but God is really using this kind of stuff to teach me patience. It’s all I can do to keep from flipping out on certain people.



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