This question was closed as a duplicate. I have edited to add a couple of paragraphs explaining why I do not think the alleged duplicate is relevant.

In brief: I am asking for a word that describes a person (possibly extremely knowledgeable) who makes arguments (possibly citing all of that accurate knowledge) that are highly articulate but actually make no logical sense.

The duplicate seems to be asking for a person who is not knowledgeable, but pretends to be. That is not at all the same thing.

One difference is that I want a word that implies "articulate"; I don't think the duplicate is asking for that. Another difference is that I want a word that applies even when the person is highly knowledgeable; I don't think the duplicate is asking for that. Another difference is that I want a word that applies even when the speaker has no intent to deceive; I think the duplicate (or the posts around it) largely do assume some intent to deceive.


1 Answer 1


The duplicate is not asking about a person who “pretends” to be knowledgeable but isn’t. There is no pretending going on, so it is not trickery: it is self-ignorance.

“An ultracrepidarian is unaware that he has given advice on matters above his expertise (hence the name), and the morosoph is as clueless about his own foolishness as any other sophomore.”

Like any other ultracrepidarian, ChatGPT does not even know that it does not know what it is talking about. It just sounds like it does, but it is unaware that it is confabulating other people’s words into hallucinations that merely sound reasonable to the unknowing.

  • Fair enough regarding pretense. I still thought there was a difference in that the ultracepidarian (if I understand correctly) is not knowledgeable but appears to be, whereas I am looking for a word for someone who is not logical but appears to be. That person I want to describe might or might not be very knowledgeable, but is definitely very articulate and definitely very illogical, though the articulateness masks the illogic.I was also hoping for a word with a widely recognized meaning, but perhaps there is none.
    – WillO
    Jun 6, 2023 at 2:06
  • Also, if I understand things correctly, the ultracrepidarian might not be fooling anyone, but the person I am looking to describe successfully fools people through linguistic dexterity.
    – WillO
    Jun 6, 2023 at 2:08
  • @WillO Like some silver-tongued lawyer?
    – tchrist Mod
    Jun 6, 2023 at 2:15
  • Yes, very much so. Or for that matter a silver tongued politician. Again, there might or might not be self-deception; there might or might not be intent to deceive others; there might or might not be a lot of genuine knowledge. The main things I want the word to convey (I realize I am being repetitive here) are a) articulateness, b) illogic, and c) the fact that for casual listeners, the articulateness often masks the illogic.
    – WillO
    Jun 6, 2023 at 2:21
  • Thanks (to you or whoever else might be responsible) for reopening. I've edited to add your silver-tongued lawyer, and to add a more fleshed-out example of exactly the kind of thing I have in mind.
    – WillO
    Jun 6, 2023 at 19:10

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