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Using "higher level" terms is, if not symptomatic, then at least strongly related to having "a lack of ability", as you put it.

There is a theory of skill development which goes something like this:
  • Unconciously Incompetent
  • Conciously Incompetent
  • Conciously Competent
  • Unconciously Competent
This is very similar to many Eastern philosophies regarding the path of learning.

I have a feeling that when one progresses to the fourth step, there is no reason to talk in scientific terms or to use fancy words. Since a master understands the subject matter in a complete sense, that it is really an integral part of them, there's no reason to use symbolic references to advanced concepts, such as the example of "idiopathic". It's not "dumbing down" so much as not making it sound more complicated than it is.

It is a natural tendancy for some people, especially those of intermediate skill, to start talking technical nonsense just to sound important. Anyone who knows what they are saying will find it devoid of real meaning, and anyone who doesn't will find it useless. It's only those that have an idea of what they are saying that will be impressed.

PROGRAMMER A: Your hash reference buffer has no entries, so that must be why you're not getting any program output.
PROGRAMMER B: I think what he's saying is that your document is empty, so that's why the page is blank.

In reply to Re^3: Second rate programmers and my confession by tadman
in thread Second rate programmers and my confession by Ovid

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