2. Sign up for a few good email newsletters to score some extra factoids for casual conversation.
3. Whenever people are talking about the economy, just say, “It was all downhill after they repealed Glass-Steagall.”
After that, if you want to be able to enter a second level of conversation without running away, here’s some background. If not, probably just run away.
5. On that note, have a favorite writer, book and artist ready to name drop.
Nothing is worse than sitting there awkwardly as you try to think of a book — literally ANY BOOK THAT’S EVER BEEN PUBLISHED. Not a good look.
9. Refer to an NPR personality by his or her first name only.
“I was listening to Ira this morning.” If they have to ask, you win.
Warning: also kinda douche-y.
12. Write emails with proper punctuation and capitalization.
Even writing in all lowercase can make you seem kinda silly.
13. Become knowledgeable about one random thing.
- People are much less likely to call bullshit on what you’re saying because of the randomness.
- After the first time you bring it up, it will come up in conversation more than you’d think, multiplying your “smart points.” (Note: not a thing.)
- You’ll know some weird, interesting stuff.
- It can sneakily mask that you don’t know lots of other, obvious stuff.
- Golf legend Arnold Palmer has died at 87. Known as "The King," his unusual style and charisma changed the game.
- Monday night's US presidential debate may be the last hope for environmental activists who want climate in the national conversation.
- US officials have determined al-Qaeda likely influenced suspected New York City bomber Ahmad Khan Rahami.