Admit it; there have been times when you've used certain words to try to sound smart. Even the best of us have probably done it to reach a word count requirement for a paper or to sound more intellectual when out with new people.

But the thing is, when we have no idea what we're talking about by rattling off a bunch of smart-sounding words, we run the risk of sounding like a malfunctioning thesaurus.

(Graphic: A bunch of fashionable 1800s aristocrats talking at a dinner table with one person with over-the-top accessories looking on)

Reference for the aristocrats:

Reference for the over-the-top guy: but with more exaggerated and colorful clothes and accessories like a gigantic timepiece etc.)

That was exactly the plight of humorists from the 1800s who simply wanted to poke fun at people who tried too hard to sound smart. You see, the best way to be understood is to say things as plainly as you can. But there were just some people who wanted to sound stylish by imitating how more educated folk speak.

(Graphic: The over-the-top guy talking to another aristocrat saying “How dare they speak to me thusly?!” and the aristocrat thinking, “Thusly? Wtf is that?!” or something to that effect)

So what was the solution thought up by the humorists? According to the American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, humorists invented the word "thusly" as an alternative for "thus" in sentences. Naturally, people trying to sound smart used the "thusly" to no end, and it easily became clear who really knew what they were talking about.

Despite its widespread use among the masses, up to 86% of the Usage Panel disapproved of its use. And the sentence they used to check if the Usage Panel wanted to accept the word "thusly"?

His letter to the editor ended thusly: "It's time to stop fooling 

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