I've covered this before, but

posted by Jason Kottke Dec 19, 1999

I've covered this before, but I ran across this great anecdote in a book I just finished:

   "Richard Feynman, [Murray] Gell-Mann's chief competitor for the title of the World's Smartest Man but a stranger to pretension, once encountered Gell-Mann in the hall outside their offices at Caltech and asked him where he had been on a recent trip; 'Moon-TRAY-ALGH!' Gell-Mann responded in a French accent so thick that he sounded as if he were strangling. Feynman - who, like Gell-Mann, was born in New York City - had no idea what he was talking about. 'Don't you think,' he asked Gell-Mann, when at length he had ascertained that Gell-Mann was saying 'Montreal,' 'that the purpose of language is communication?'"

Think about that the next time you feel the need to use jargon or overly obscure words just for the sake of hearing how smart you sound.