Um, make that “a degree of BS”:
The astonishment that other people don’t actually want to hear you talk for a living goes hand-in-hand with the past fifteen years’ worth of our culture. Being clever at laying on the talk is currency at a lot of immature stages in life: it’s a way for young people to impress their elders, and later to impress their peer group of fellow clevers, and (possibly) effective at getting into the pants of desirable cleverettes.* And this is hardly a surprise. Jocks impress their folks in Little League, each other in high school, and get themselves laid a lot in college. Nerds impress their folks at Science Fair, each other in Chess Club, and… well, the analogy breaks down somewhat here, but eventually the nerds get good jobs and clean up sufficiently to be good catches as adults.
*Lady clevers, feel free to reverse the polarity of the neutron flow on this analogy.
There are, I calculated when I was in college, probably just enough raconteurs to go around, and therefore I shouldn’t try to be one myself. It helped that I had some sort of well, not a speech impediment, exactly, but more of an irregular cadence, halting when it didn’t need to be and going too fast when it shouldn’t. I eventually learned to slow it down a bit, with the hope that no one would compare me to Shatner on Quaaludes.
I should point out that I had already given up on luring one of the cleverettes, though my own perceptions at the time, at least in that particular realm, likely weren’t worth, to borrow a phrase, “the copper under your fingernail after you scrape it once along the edge of a penny.”
Nerdishness got me through clerical and into operations, which pays the bills today. It perhaps wasn’t what I aspired to, but what the hell: it keeps me from feeling like I have to carry a sign in the park.