Found largely in college campuses, these people immerse themselves in a certain subject - may it be politics, philosophy, physics, etc - and spend a great deal of their lives memorizing as much as they can about it. In an attempt to prove to the world that they are gifted in the subject area, they talk in-depth about even the smallest facet of the subject, to anybody in earshot who's too polite to stop them; they tend to spin the conversation to do so.
To a temporary acquaintance, this technique usually works, and the listener parts with a feeling that the "expert" is intelligent. Spend time with this person, or perhaps know a little about what they're talking about, and you realize it is all just facts given in verbatim by others who are more intelligent than they could ever hope to be.
A sad thing, really, as those who do it have little else to be proud of, and define themselves by their "intelligence". As such, they will always seek validation for their efforts, but it is important not to call them on this. Instead, simply avoid the person... that is, unless you can't help yourself.
Jim: "Great! I just finished reading an introductory book on string theory! It was a little bit below my reading level, to be honest, but a good read nonetheless! You see, what it has to do with is..."
*5 minutes later*
Jim: "...and that's the basic idea behind string theory! Problematic, yet with the potential to explain everything, eh? I'm really excited for the future!"
Sarah: "Wow! I don't understand that! You're smart!"
Jack: "Well, talk to you later, Jim."
Jack, under breath: "Fucking pseudointellectual..."
2. Can probably be found with a thesaurus in hand, while in a chat room, looking up new insults that are synonymous with "stupid" in order to boost his or her own undeserved ego.
3. Typical cases of pseudo-intellectualism involve pre-pubescent 15 year olds that think they have everything figured out, including, but not limited to: life, religion, politics, education, and sex. Ironically, they have never quite experienced either of the aforementioned.
4. Pretends he or she has an opinion.
5. Posseses a severe tendency to blindly and wholeheartedly believe any bullshit they hear, only to subsequently regurgitate the misinformation to anyone they see in an asinine attempt to appear more intelligent than a used, broken condom.
6. Should the victim of the verbal onslaught happen to have a differing opinion, the pseudo-intellectual will revert to his or her thesaurus and insult the opposition with words he or she never knew existed, and probably cannot even pronounce.
7. Annoyingly and constantly refers to the word antidisestablishmentarianism, as if knowledge of said word defined his or her illegitimately high intelligence quotient.
8. Typically a hypocrite; creates many, many contradictions. Most online grammar/spelling Nazis can relate.
9. Always ends a bullshit "argument" with, "I win, so stfu." Win what, dipshits? Your opinions weren't fact in the first place.
<Pseudo-Intellectual has signed off>
2. Going against common thought without evidence
3. Bringing up intellectualism in non-requistite situations
4. Un-neccersary use of verbs and adjectives with 4 syllables or more
Dude #2: Nah, the cinema is so low-brow. I don't understand how so many people find aesthetic values in it. I'm going home to read. As Descartes said "cogito, ergo sum".
Dude #1: Yeah....OK.
Unlike a genuine academic, a pseudo-intellectual’s main reason for being interested in these topics is because it makes him feel intellectually superior to his peers. He usually despises main stream culture, accuses those who disagree with him as being ignorant, and when his ideas are challenged, he often retaliates with “That’s a straw man argument!”
Pseudo-intellectuals can often be found in political discussion boards on the internet, patronizing boutique shops, participating in various Anti-something rallies, sitting on a park’s bench during a weekend afternoon and playing a guitar, or spending eight consecutive years in college trying to earn a B.A degree in political science or philosophy.
Amy: Oh, that’s Mark. He’s one of those pseudo-intellectuals.